Colin Barry

Social Strategy at the Harvard Business Review (CSN, Tuesday, Week 13)


HBR business model:
-- Capitalize on Harvard brand!
-- Top-notch contributors
-- Long articles, not just tidbits
So: higher price than competitors, lower circulation (vs. Economist, FT, Fortune).

Why go online?
-- Cheaper lead generation (vs. offline)
-- More current content (vs. offline), additional revenue (freemium)?
-- Searchability (past issues)
-- Content testing (try out covers before they get printed)
-- Let readers meet each other??

Big takeaways:
-- Firms have an initial tendency to think of social media as a one-way dialogue.
-- "Meet" is always easier to monetize than "friend" --- usually have to find indirect ways to profit from friend platforms.

HBR's reflections on key factors for success:
(1) Experimentation: Easy to talk about having a culture of experimentation; really hard to actually do it.
(2) Success Metrics: Without some concrete performance criteria, it's hard to know how well things are working.
(3) Know When to Pull the Plug: It's really hard to declare that a project has failed, but it's important to end experiments that don't work. Otherwise, you can't experiment...