Indigo Community Redux

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On Thursday morning Indigo invited me back in to see the state of affairs on their Online Community.  (The last time was documented in ) This was billed as a "Blogger’s Preview" and I have to say I like how they are handling the blogger relations.

The invitation for this event went out not only to the list of attendees of the last event (who were a select group of book, author or marketing bloggers) but was publicly posted as an invitation to the Community itself. 

Using the community to build the community, to talk about the community and to engage in a meta-conversation about the community.  Hmmm, someone over there must be reading .

A couple of interesting notes about the impact of the Community site:

  • Membership has grown steadily about 20K per month since its launch.
  • Natural search traffic has tripled, and by extension Indigo’s online marketing costs are down. 
  • Members have listed 500K unique books on their bookshelves. Yes, 500K titles! I’m guessing that this is a big part of why the search traffic has increased. 
  • New feature releases are rolling out every 4-6 weeks. They’ve moved to a Agile model to facilitate feature rollout, and it’s been working. They’ve had 6 releases so far. 
  • Most embraced feature is the Bookshelf. Members can list the books that they are interested in (have read, plan to read, am reading).  At launch this feature was also the most personal and understandable, so perhaps there is some natural selection going on too.

Some new features addressing my earlier "What do you mean I can’t xxx" issues:

  • Search – You can now search people to find your friends and groups to find people to obsess about BSG with. 
  • Edit & Delete – you can now fix those witty & charming comments you make that seem more goofy & stupid when you reread them. 
  • Custom Bookshelves – I mean, who really shelves their cookbooks with their WoM marketing books? Now you can organise your Indigo Bookshelves by colour if you wish. 
  • Message Centre – you can now actually send messages to people and add notes to their pages. 
  • Clickable links & emails in posts – so now you can actually use those links people are putting in.

Still missing: (most of these were identified in detail last time)

  • Syndication – we were told the ability to import RSS feeds into your profile will likely be coming in August. 
  • Affiliation – while there was talk about recognizing and rewarding participation, they are still working on how.
  • Integration – the first attempt at a Facebook app was scraped, so it’s back to the drawing board, this time with a stronger eye to the Bookshelves.  There was even talk of a widget..

Things still to come:

  • Further integration of the user generated content into the eCom portion of the site 
  • Even more Author/Artist support within the Community. 
  • More customizable Groups including multiple layers and forms of Group admin & ownership 
  • Marketplace for people to sell used books (and more)

After the last preview my question was whether Indigo would be able to attract enough participants to yet another social networking space.  I think with the 20K new members per month the answer is "Yes".  Now my question is how feature rich they are going to make this Community and when will enough be enough?  Or will it ever be?

Are you a part of the Indigo Community? 

What are your thoughts on how it’s implemented? How social it is? What works and what doesn’t?

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2 thoughts on “Indigo Community Redux

  1. Michelle Kostya

    I think the community has come a long way. I am excited to hear that importing RSS is in the plans. When the community first started I wrote a post and one of my wishes was a widget and a Facebook App. Now I would much rather the widget – something I can include on my blog.
    If they integrate authors and artists it would be nice to add events into the community. Where you can see when/where your favourite author, or artist is going to be. Or announcements on upcoming online chat with an author. An event calendar could allow book clubs to set meetings as well (I could see my book club using that instead of Evite to send details)
    I would like to be able to search for friends using my address book rather than typing in search box.

  2. Lex

    Michelle, great suggestions! I love the idea of the events and haven’t heard anyone mention it before.

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