Microsoft and AAA communities

by admin on November 24, 2008

in General,Innovation

The other week, I spoke with the people behind AAACommons, the American Accounting Association’s community:

Built on HiveLive’s LiveConnect[TM] platform, the online community (dubbed AAACommons) allows university professors, researchers, and accounting professionals working with the AAA to advance the field of accounting. Members can share resources, establish personalized research and teaching spaces, keep up with news, trends, and regulations, and take advantage of rich profile information to find colleagues and experts.

Like many professional communities, it faces the problem of overcoming Nielsen’s 1:9:90 participation inequality rule. However, it is contemplating how to reach the Facebook crowd which it acknowledges is far more comfortable with the ‘social media’ style of content than older members. They found that putting discussions around topics of interest at the top of the site provided good visual cues for members and is encouraging uptake.

Last week, I caught up with Craig Dewar, the person charged with building the Microsoft Dynamics communities. A year ago, he was casting around for ideas and much of what was available was of poor quality. A year on and while much of today’s content is commissioned, the quality is much better. There is for example a feed from in the Finance section. Microsoft is supplying the community content as part of the role based dashboards that professionals get in NAV2009 and AX2009. But here’s the catch – you have to be on the 2009 releases to get it as part of the dashboard. I’m not convinced that’s the right strategy as it means take up will be wholly dependent on Microsoft’s ability to convince customers of the need to upgrade. I’d also like to see localized content but that will be for another day. (see above 3 minute video for an explanation of the communities)

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