Frost & Sullivan User-Generated Content

Douglas White of MindComet invited me to be part of the un-panel for this session that he’s moderating. I’m with Kevin Hoffberg, Rick Short and Chris Curtin from Disney, VP of Global New Media.

This was a highly participative session, which is only appropriate given the topic. Having a session on UGC without having substantial discussion would be odd.

The project from Mayo Clinic that I highlighted is Care Pages, a service we provide to our patients to enable them to provide updates to family and friends.

When Kevin was writing a book about customer experience, and ran into Yours is a Very Bad Hotel he started to see the potential. And because the most powerful customer experience can be fixing a bad experience, tapping into complaints and fixing them can be a great win for your company.

Chris and Disney are mostly reacting to UGC vs. creating it. It’s really happening without their involvement. People already go to Disney theme parks and upload pictures to Flickr, Facebook or MySpace. He mentioned how Procter & Gamble has a contest open to engineers throughout the world to help design or improve P & G products. Disney is planning to find ways

Disney has a Moms panel/forum that lets expert Moms answer questions in real time on their web site.

Earthlink had to pull back from hosting UGC because they found out there aren’t a lot of enthusiastic users about internet connections. The only people commenting were those who had a gripe, because Internet connection is viewed as a utility. It’s only news when it doesn’t work.

That caused Rick to bring up the video showing the Comcast service guy sleeping on his couch because he was on hold so long.


Rick’s team at Indium has a Public Discourse policy as opposed to a blogging policy. They started by having service techs who help customers by phone every day go on the Internet and type their communications instead. It was a no-brainer.

For me, the “aha” moment was when we saw that we already had more than 1,000 Mayo Clinic employees and students in Facebook.

Kevin says the data for involvement in social media are overwhelming, but for most people an anecdotal story makes the difference.

The Economist has a story this week on the music industry. A record company had a focus group with kids, offered a “take as many as you want” pile of CDs, and nobody took any! Talk about an AHA moment!

About half of the participants in our session have Facebook profiles. More are on LinkedIn. Fewer are on MySpace. I said for people in PR, or Sales or Marketing, it should be a basic level of knowledge.

Here’s the group I created for the Frost & Sullivan conference, where today’s conversation can continue. I hope lots of the participants from today will join.

Kevin mentioned Flock as a way to incorporate all of your social networking presence.

Action point: Join Facebook now and friend me.

Author: Lee Aase

Husband of one, father of six, grandfather of 15. Chancellor Emeritus, SMUG. Emeritus staff of Mayo Clinic. Founder of HELPcare and Administrator for HELPcare Clinic.

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