I’ve had a great relationship with the team at Focus.com these past few years, and have thoroughly enjoyed working with the company and their active, growing community of practitioners & experts as both the community and the business expands.
So I was delighted to see the latest set of updates rolled out yesterday, in particular the way the site has become more transparent about data and activity. As Focus.com Founder & CEO Scott Albro detailed in his post yesterday:
I am very excited to announce that we just released the first in a succession of planned changes to Focus.com. You might call the theme of this release “transparency” because most of the updates are about exposing more and more of the data and activity generated by the community.
As the community has grown, the number of posts on some of the more popular Q&A’s expands as well (for instance, see one of the recent discussions on Content Marketing which continued after our December Roundtable) and it becomes challenging to digest all of the feedback and sort through the best answers. It’s a good problem to have because of the level of participation but an issue nonetheless which these changes should address.
These changes also remove much of the incentive and ability to ‘game’ responses now that Up and Down votes are transparent. Community members should be considerably more thoughtful about voting based on the merits of a particular answer rather than simply voting their friends and colleagues ‘Up’ and rivals ‘Down’. The new ‘points’ system should help with both engagement and quality filtering as well.
Focus went through a great deal of transition in 2011, including the sale of their Lead Generation business unit to Ziff Davis in August. However I am very confident that the company’s singular focus (pun intended) on building out tech-centric, active communities is both a differentiator and a competitive advantage that will allow them to continue expanding their market presence in 2012 and beyond.
I am looking forward to another great year ahead, and encourage those of you who haven’t already done so to sign up and jump in. Make sure to look me up when you do!