Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Televisions in the Bedroom: Know Thy Community

As of late, many of my online discussions take place in Facebook. From politics to technology, I get far more interactions there than I do in Google Reader, Buzz, Twitter, or the blog.

Yesterday, after recording "Room 3026 Live", a listener responded to something I said during the show. She told me that watching movies in the bedroom was wrong. In fact, any device or distraction in the bedroom is to be avoided. The listener continued to explain that the bedroom is reserved for only two things: 1) Sleeping, and 2) Sex.

Over the next day, the Facebook discussion gained more readers and responders. To my surprise, one community member wrote this conversation was the "funniest" thing. But, wait, what about all the other items I post? What about the article on Google TV? What about the latest news on Facebook?

On a good day, I might get a few likes, but nothing like what I am now seeing about televisions in the bedroom.

As one working, writing, and thinking about technology, why aren't others as excited as I am about it? The simplest answer I can come up with is this, "It's not TECHNOLOGY that interests people, but rather how technology affects THEM."

In the case of televisions in the bedroom, we're having discussions about how televisions affect our daily lives; How technology can increase our wealth, health, and happiness. Isn't that what's important?

Beyond that realization, this experience also taught me about the importance of knowing my community. As it stands on Facebook, my friends do not react passionately to the latest news out of Silicon Valley. Instead, they want to discuss the perils of parenthood, relationships, and opportunities to enjoy life. Knowing this, I cannot expect my community to engage the same way they do on Louis Gray's site.

The key to increased interaction and enjoyment is to understand one's community and provide services that bring those individuals value. Instead of talking about Facebook (the company), talk about how Facebook's changes may affect them specifically. Does that make sense?

What other ways can we personalize information into something that matters to the common man/woman?


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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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