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Right now at work, I’m drawing quite a few community plans for projects we are working on. Apart from the fact that it is so important to know what you want to offer to whom (in other words to set your goals straight), you have to find a trigger to get your target group to you. You need to know their needs. You need to know what gets people out of their seats, right to your project.

An example I tend to use a lot these days to make people clear what I mean, is a project organised in my hometown Sint-Truiden. This year, for the second time already, a ladies city day was organised. Not just ‘a’ day, no no, the ladies city day took place at the 22nd of May.  Exactly, the day of the Champions League Final. Usually a day at which men grab the remote control, don’t want to let go of it anymore, and want to sit in front of the television for about two hours, with beer, chips and their mates.  Women are brutally left behind, they don’t count at that day.  To sketch things in a stereotypical way 😉 .

So what did the organisation of merchants in Sint-Truiden do? They organised a women’s day. Shops were open till 9pm on the 22nd of May, famous Belgian actors came to town for signature sessions and performances, shops organised special actions,…And 10.000 women invaded town. Friens of mine who live kilometres away from Sint-Truiden came to the city centre. In other words, the event was a huge success.

And why? Not only because the organisation of merchants knew the needs of women (almost every woman loves to go shopping with the girls) but they also found the right time and the right moment to organise an event for their target group. They found the exact trigger to have ladies come to town ànd buy stuff. Great!

 

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Last week I didn’t only visit Mobile Monday but also ThinkTomorrow in Diegem.  At the event companies showed succesful cases of implementing ‘social networking’ and ‘web 2.0’ in their business.

-The most impressing and useful presentation to me was the one brought by the French Emeric Ernoult of Affinitiz.com. He told  amongst others about a project of his with the French lawyers organisation. They wanted more visibility on the web, a better image (modern, not old school) and they wanted to be present when people have legal questions. Ermeric and his team figured out the options and concluded that French lawyers should blog to achieve their goals. After 8 months, 850 lawyers have a blog, 10.000 articles are published and 20.000 comments have been posted. Curious? The portal of ‘les avocats’ via this link.
The quote of the day came from Emeric as well: You want people to create value for your brand, first find how to create value for them.

-Another great presentation was given by Sabine Allaeys of Minifizz. I like the Minifizz concept very much because it shows how the internet also works succesfully for girls. Moreover, I saw some male spectators learning a lot, not only about girls but also about how you can reach their needs on the internet (quite different than male needs, like Sabine put it: “girls just love to dress up”. And indeed they do 😉 ).

-Last but not least, I stumbled upon Sam Desimpel. I know him from a ‘former life’. Being a journalist, my first trip abroad went to San Fransisco. Together with people from eBay Belgium I was invited to celebrate (and write about) 10 years eBay. Quite a party, with Sam, who worked for eBay at the time. It was great to see him at ThinkTomorrow introducing his brand new company IntroNiche. Take a look!

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This week, we have invited our first test users at CityLive: 18 crew members of the online community platform ASLPage received a pda, in order to test some mobile features.

So what can they do? Among others check their ASLPage guest books via their mobile phones, post messages in other people’s guest books, see which friends are online…Of course this is only the beginning, since CityLive wants to be very innovative providing mobile and locally relevant information. But it’s a start.

And what’s really fantastic: the ASLPage crew is really enthousiastic, spamming our forum and making their peers jalous, which is exactly what we had in mind. One small remark: only two girls were in, hope more and more girls will also embrace new technologies 🙂

My project HasseltLokaal has finally left the ‘research-stage’. Last week was decided to bring it into an operational environment. This means that from today on, the content manager of HBvL.be is responsible for the content and the community on HasseltLokaal. Feels great to have delivered a good project, I must say, and it gives the research department here the space and time to start new projects, some of them based on HasseltLokaal. 

However, I’m a bit worried. I wonder whether the people of the internet desk are aware how important and above all how fragile a community is. That you have to hug and pamper your people, especially since they provide content on a voluntary basis. I cross my fingers that everything turns out well 🙂 I keep you up to date.

Meanwhile, we have framed more than 2.000 people with the HasseltLokaal campaign. Guess I’m a happy person.

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