How To Build an Online Community Lady Gaga Style
I’m not a Little Monster, but yes, I did join Lady Gaga’s Social Network few months back. Why?
I have a vested interest in staying up to date on new and creative ways brands are organizing their fanatics around their product or service.
As the Founder of Triberr -the largest community of bloggers- I feel I have to stay informed….ummm, ok. Not just informed. I straight-up don’t have a problem stealing a good idea. So there.
As bloggers, what can we learn from Lady Gaga? Turns out, A LOT!
Gaga’s Got Balls!
When you go to Little Mosters, you will be greeted by Gaga’s ginormous set of balls. The homepage simply states “Welcome Home, Little Monsters!”
What Gaga is saying here is that you’ve landed on the ultimate place where Little Monsters gather. There is nowhere else to be. THIS is the ultimate destination for you.
And THAT is a powerful message.
Dan and I seriously considered ripping this off.
We contemplated turning Triberr’s homepage to simply say “Welcome home, bloggers”.
We’re building Triberr to be the ultimate resource for bloggers, and we’re confident that it is. So it would be appropriate, we though.
Obstacle: Lady Gaga has something Triberr, and most of the rest of us, don’t have. She is already known. So the message needs to be adjusted for each of our circumstances.
At first, we decided to go with “Triberr sent 2 million visits in the last month to its members” as the center piece of our homepage because we thought it would be more effective. And it was…but now we’re experimenting with the Lady Gaga styled homepage. Whadaya think?
Lesson: When people land on your homepage or blog post, are you sending them the message that they’ve found the ultimate, and the only resource they will need for their particular need?
Kill the Middle Man
Why did Gaga start her own social network? Why not use Facebook instead?
Because Lady Gaga is not stupid. She knows that she doesn’t own her Facebook Likes. Zuckerburg does. She doesn’t own her followers on Twitter, Twitter does.
Gaga wants to have control over the entire length of the communication channel between her and her fans. And the only way to do that is to build your own conduit that’s piped directly into the brains of your biggest fans.
This doesn’t come by accident. Gaga planned, and deliberately killed the middle men. How do I know?
The very first goal states ”exclusive source of lady gaga content”. Translation? Kill the middle man.
Obstacle: We can’t shell out the insane amount of money it takes to build a social network. But it still makes sense to own the contacts. To that end, Triberr has created Atomic Tribes, which is the next step in the Social Email/RSS technology. Learn more about that here.
Lesson: You’re either a boat or the ocean. When you’re on Facebook or Twitter, you are at the mercy of those particular oceans. You’re better off creating an ocean of your own.
It’s NOT About You
It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to sell a product, or start a revolution. It’s never about you.
The second goal stated on Gaga’s whiteboard is “media UGC”. UGC stands for User Generated Content.
See? It’s not about you, it’s about them. Enable “them” to express themselves. And online this means uploading text, pictures, video, and audio.
To that end, Lady Gaga’s platform has a really neat looking UGC interface. Pictured below.
Obstacle: You’re not compelling enough. People just don’t care about your value system. They don’t care about your product, or service. Back to the drawing board.
Lesson: You can’t generate all the content people are able to consume. Not by yourself. Try ReBlog and Triberr comment system. It gives you an inexhaustible supply of guest posts.
Facilitate, and get out of the way.
The 3rd bullet point on the whiteboard is “little monsters connected to each other and not just her”. Her = Lady Gaga, of course.
Something magical happens when you create an environment for people to connect to one another, laterally. Harley Davidson knows a lot about that, and you could too if you read this post.
Triberr has taken a lesson from Lady Gaga in this regard, and is putting on a shindig which will enable east coast bloggers to connect with one another in real life.
5 speakers, 2 hour networking event, food, drinks, what more can a blogger ask for?
If you’re in the area on September 22nd, you have to join us. Learn more here.