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Net Gain: Expanding Markets Through Virtual Communities Hardcover – March 1, 1997
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Up until this book, I have seen little written on the longer term business models on how to make money by aggregating users. This book will explain the rationale of why there is enormous value in web sites with a large base of users.
The book has a very interesting chart which describes the return on various strategic investments for a startup trying to build a virtual community. The conclusion was that far and away the most important investments were vendor acquisition (i.e. companies wanting to sell products to the members of the community), member-generated content, and member acquisition. Interestingly, usage fees for the site had an enormous long-term negative impact for the site (despite their short term ability to generate revenue).
There are a couple of points that I think were not well addressed in this book:
1) I don't believe that the authors make a compelling argument about how to sell the first vendors on the advantages of being a part of the virtual community.Read more ›
In my opinion, two of the most useful components of the book are a listing of personnel required for the implementation and maintenance of an online community, and steps needed to help managers get started in organizing a virtual community. The book is certainly worth reading, whether you are developing websites for business, education, recreation, etc. Hagel and Armstrong present valid reasons and practical suggestions for developing online communities that will help members connect, as well as seek and find.
The book also explains how to manege such a community. By builing it up little by little and by letting go at the same time, so that members will over time derive great value from member-generated content.
And best of all: the lay-out of the book ensures easy reading and fast skimming throught the book.
In the Preface, Hagel and Armstrong acknowledge three inevitable limitations in writing Net.Gain: "The first arises from the profound uncertainties associated with evolving electronic networks and the myriad business models emerging in the primordial brew known as cycberspace....Second, the need to be concise has led us to make some generalizations about the likely evolution of virtual communities and the key principles for success....Third, we do not expect virtual communities to be the only 'form of life' on public networks. Indeed, many other commercial and non-commercial formats (including dictionaries, market spaces, 'web'zines,' corporate sites and game areas) will thrive on these networks as well." Working within these limitations, Hagel and Armstrong succeed admirably when describing the power and potential of the virtual community concept.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I always select a book in good conditions or better and this one met my expectations. Thank you I am very happy with my purchase.Published 24 months ago by Joan Crane
Originally published in 1997, anyone fortuitous enough to follow the advice of the authors is most likely a major player in the "virtual community" space right now. Read morePublished on January 5, 2008 by Joe Waynick
Both authors are from the esteemed McKinsey & Company. Even though released in 1997, this book has pretty much mapped out where we are now, and possibly to where the web will... Read morePublished on June 19, 2006 by Roger Peter Marec
Notwithstanding the many new books on on-line communities, I still keep this book on my bookshelf as a useful reminder of the conceptual framework around which many new businesses... Read morePublished on July 31, 2003 by Govindan Nair
Excellent ideas on Internet marketing and business strategies but did not need to write a book, ten pages would have been enough. Read morePublished on October 16, 2000
This is a great book for anyone who plans to go into business in the Internet, or works at a high-tech company. Read morePublished on May 19, 2000 by Edu
I can't believe that HBS would publish the likes of this druck! Both Net Gain and Hagel's previous books were full of holes and based on ridiculous assumptions. Read morePublished on May 5, 2000
This is a very serious handbook for how to create communities of interest, provide value that keeps the members there, and establish a foundation for growing exponentially from day... Read morePublished on April 7, 2000 by Robert David STEELE Vivas
Hagel et al would have better served their audience by getting out into the online world and seeing how it actually operates. Read morePublished on April 3, 2000