Continuing the series on setting up a community site, under the title Social Media East and using the WordFrame platform, this post focuses on people.

That includes people who are, or might be:

  • interested professionally or otherwise in the subject area of social media, with particular reference to the China, South East Asia, Australasia region
  • interested in being more informed about the subject
  • interested in contributing to and participating in discussions
  • belonging to, or interested in belonging to, one or other group that might make use of the WordFrame collaboration tools the site will provide

As indicated in the previous post in this series, I believe there are enough people interested in the topic of social media in this regionto make this a viable proposition.

Just as a partial test, I did a search on the term “social media” on LinkedIn, which quickly produced the “first 500” profiles in my network with that tag. How many of them would be interested in a site of the kind I’m planning is another question, as is the issue of how many could be expected to find the regional focus attractive or otherwise.

But it’s an indicator.

Just a few more considerations that give me a degree of encouragement about this process:

  • there are so many China-based and China-focused blogs, just in English, that I have stopped trying to keep up
  • the buzz around the Future of Media event in Sydney this week
  • the fact that the China-facing PR 2.0: Master Practical Tools for Digital Success site set up by my colleague Professor Lonnie B. Hodge has, without any real fanfare, just a few emails, attracted already over 650 members

In short, there are enough indicators of potential interest to satisfy me that I am not wasting my time on this project.

One thing that is emerging as I follow the process being documented in this series, is that whereas initially I had some idea of “building a community of interest” I now find myself drawn much more to the idea of establishing a site and a framework to allow a community or communities to find information, a place for individuals to promote their ideas and even a place for groups to gather and collaborate.

WordFrame Premium PartnerIt’s not “build it and they will come” so much as “I’m going to build this, have fun and welcome anyone who wants to come along and observe or participate, as they choose”.

The next post in this series will look at the site’s focus. That will not be something fixed: it will be subject to change. Whether the appropriate clarifying terminology for that is “movable feast”, “depends on circumstances” or “evolves over time” I’m not sure right now.

Time for some mulling over.

And while I do that I welcome, as always, comments and suggestions as to how to best take this process forward, or shared stories of how you may have handled a similar or related process.

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Des Walsh is an executive coach. He helps business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide deal effectively with the feeling of being left behind or overwhelmed, or both, about social media – especially LinkedIn - and how to engage safely and effectively with social media to help grow their business. Connect with Des on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get Des’s weekly Social Business Bites (select snippets of his "best of the week" online finds).