Here in the freeRADlab we have been discussing the idea of Digital Diplomacy since late 1998. We believed then that the Internet was the great enabler by providing the common person with access and a voice to "millions" of actors. We also knew that the idea then was to achieve "views" as part of any Web strategy. We chose to use the already coined term - "user" or "actor" instead. (It did not fail to register that the only other group that falls under the category "user" was Drug User). We associated "addiction" and "repetition" to this person(s) or group and determined that info driven process could deliver "needs".
We applied interaction in as many ways as possible to produce "sticky" "addictive""integrating" "immersive" results. We were provided with:
1. These results allowed for more user time in our (work) sphere of influence (Pre-Information ECO-System).
2. This provided us with a feedback loop that fueled our way forward. People (want) wanted more.
We first niched down and targeted communities based on defined make-ups and strategies that focused on quick wins. Who do we think wants what we have?
We wanted to build momentum. Sometimes we supposed - other times we asked questions - many times we lurked.
As an end game, we always identified impact as an essential part of the decision making process
Most of the time, the project defined a type of user it needed. They just needed to be able to find what we had.
In 1996 while working for cable company Comcast online, a job I was later to loose because of an inability to handle SPAM assaults, the online group was tasked to provide a "web browser" that would reflect the online presence of the new Broadband offering. At this time, Comcast could count maybe 12,000 subscribers. The idea was to harness the content, frame it for ease of use, and act as a "portal" to all that you needed. The key was to drop the Netscape interface and make the "chrome" work as a tool. We were working with Excite@Home. At this stage it was as much a technical project as it was a content based solution.