The Whuffie Factor: The 5 Keys for Maxing Social Capital and Winning with Online Communities

Tara Hunt (Buyosphere)
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Everyone knows about blogs and social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. And they’ve heard about someone who has used them to grow a huge customer base. Everyone wants to be hands-on, grass roots and interactive. But what does this mean? And more to the point, how do you do it?

As one who has actually launched a company using the power of online communities, and who now advises big and small companies, Tara Hunt is the perfect person to do this book The San Francisco Chronicle, in fact, named her as one of the Digital Utopians who populate Web 2.0, along with luminaries like Jimmy Wales and Tim O’ Reilly.

People see the huge business potential of the online world and the first impulse is: let’s throw a bunch of money at it, to which Tara Hunt says: “Stop! Money isn’t the capital of choice in online communities, it is Whuffie – social capital – and how to raise it is the heart of this.” In the Web 2.0 world, market capital flows from having high social capital. Without Whuffie you lose your connections and any recommendation you make will be seen as spam, met with negative reactions and a loss of social capital.

The Whuffie Factor is essential (book coming out with Crown Publishing in Fall 2008), providing the strategic map and specific tactics for success in the lucrative, but strange and elusive world of online communities. Online success comes from building a community and being part of it – not by pushing a product or service. If you want to learn the secret sauce behind Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, you have to use them until you love them.

As one who has actually launched a company using the power of online communities, and who now advises big and small companies, Tara Hunt was named one of the Digital Utopians who populate Web 2.0, along with luminaries like Jimmy Wales and Tim O’ Reilly by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Photo of Tara Hunt

Tara Hunt

Buyosphere

Tara is the cofounder and CEO of Buyosphere.com, author of The Whuffie Factor, (published in 8 languages) and public speaker who explains how the social web is changing the customer/business relationship. She also spends an inordinate amount of time on social networks.

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Picture of Gustavo Sanchez
Gustavo Sanchez
11/19/2009 1:32am EST

thanks for posting the slides!

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