Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Reuters InterActive- Social Networking Beta

1 comment :
Via Tom Mandel's post over at the SuperNova Conversation Hub comes word that Reuters is making public a new social networking service built on Blogtronix called Reuters InterActive. I am suspecting that this the Financial services "MySpace" that Tom Glocer mentioned in the Guardian?

Last night i signed up (had to use corporate e-mail address) and it seems that there are currently three active communities; Carbon Market, Oil Market and Midnight Trader- US Equities some with thousands of members already. They have a short flash movie that takes you through the site.

The introduction material states that this is a place for users to interact with the market and enables those users to get questions answered by the market and get market opinion. There are many other media players that are trying to build communities with their readers- but i really like what Reuters is doing here- it is NOT just about Reuters content, they are providing a place for people to participate add their own content above and beyond comments and tags that you typically see in media communities.

Of course distributing their own content is important and in addition to building these communities - it is yet another way for Reuters to spread and bring value to their brand name, for example, it even has easy access to subscribe to Reuters Newsletters on specific subjects built in.

All this behind a login that allows them to know the user base and target the service as it matures to the communities' needs. I would suspect that as large amounts of people from specific companies become members, premium services could be eventually activated through Reuters Interactive in some way (read the fees section in the terms of use).

The targeting of the communities-come on only if you are really really interested in the Carbon Market are you going to join- will hopefully lead to a very engaged community that produces high value to all its members. Well done-

As a member of a community (you need to be accepted as a member) you can create posts, add comments (also allows for anonymous comments), upload information like spreadsheets (but only spreadsheets) and create your own site that you can can manage and invite others to see.

On the top left of this post is an example of the resources available to each community- including of course Reuters branded content, industry information like key facts, and web content that includes top Internet blogs.

The big thing that really bugged me was that i could not easily find who the Community Managers are- it seems like they are Reuters Editors and market experts? but i would like that prominently displayed prior to making a decision if i wanted to be in that community. You can easily find the other members of the community- but understanding who is the Community Manager could be important.

Communities around markets and such have been around for a long time- think of all the forums, blogs etc that trade industries have but this is something a bit different- if it works it is a very specialized social networking community that allows all participants to create and collaborate on content.

Over all good stuff and i look forward to keeping an eye on the process they make.

ADDED POST PUBLISH- the other thing that kinda baffled me was one item in their terms of use statement, "by posting material you warrant that such material...was not produced by you in the course of your employment"- employment with the company whose e-mail i had to use as part of my subscription? not sure.

Oh yeah- if you are new reader to my blog please don't forget that : " The opinions expressed on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent those of my past,future or present employer".

1 comment :

Joseph Fiore said...

The TOS seemed strange to me as well - I was forced to use my corporate account because it wouldn't accept any of my yahoo, gmail or msn accounts.

I'm interested enough in this beta project to wait and see - although I'm not sure which direction they will be heading, or how much catching-up they'll need to do to with interactive News hubs which have already achieved some popularity like Topix.net or digitaljournal.com.

I think they will eventually need to move towards becoming an aggregator of top stories (social media + news) to keep discussions current, vibrant and make the social community aspect really flourish. As far as the community aspect goes, I'm more interested in the versatility and interplay of Net opinion, and not so much interested in keeping up with just the A-list contributors.