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Marketing on Phreadz

May 26th, 2008 · 4 Comments · Branding, Social Media, Video

Recently, TechCrunch and TechCrunch UK featured Phreadz, a new threaded social multimedia conversation network. Now that the cat is out of the bag, I’m pleased to say that I’ve been part of the “clandestine pre-alfalfa” testing on Phreadz for more than two-months.

Comparisons to Seesmic are inevitable because both services feature recorded video conversations. But there are few similarities beyond that. In fact, Phreadz has the ability to integrate desktop and mobile video, images, text, audio and links, making it more akin to Utterz. But, its easy-to-navigate way of viewing threaded conversations and a veritable bounty of other features makes Phreadz unique. I could go on about the array of features, but you may as well hear about them directly from Kosso, the sole person behind the creation of Phreadz.

I am pretty enthusiastic about Phreadz for many reasons, but one thing that is really encouraging about its long-term viability is that, unlike many new social applications, Kosso actually has a business model in place from the beginning that does not rely on advertising. Instead, Phreadz will offer custom-branded channels, in addition to the open-access public service.

From a marketing perspective, having a dedicated channel with a custom look and feel, gives you ability to open up a dialogue and build a community with people within the context of your brand. Because of Phreadz ability to weave multimedia into the conversation, participants can choose the media that suits them best, and can do it from a desktop or mobile. For example, people can record an audio question from their phone, reply with a photo to describe a technical problem, make a video and include notes and links, and it will all be threaded together in a way that allows for context and offshoots of new discussions. Channel managers will have tools to set who can start a conversation and whether posts will take replies, much like blog permissions. Participants can reply to each other, forum-style, which will build community amongst your channel’s visitors.

Think about how channels could be used by brand managers for product launches or by market researchers for focus groups. What about using it for customer support? Use a channel to promote an event and engage people to interact, not only with you, but with each other, creating a community.

Here’s the first post from my channel marketing.phreadz.com which talks about branded channels and the difference between Phreadz and YouTube’s Rolling Stones Living Legends promotion. (Note: the site is only open to testers at the moment, and so you will not be able to see my channel until Phreadz goes into the “open beetroot” a.k.a. beta phase. However, posts can be embeded for all to see.)

Do you find this type of tool useful, from a business and marketing perspective? How you would use a dedicated branded channel? I’d love to know what you think.

(Disclosure: I do not represent Phreadz as a client nor am I being paid by Phreadz or Kosso. I am not an investor. I am simply a tester, and on the basis of many positive experiences, I am now an evangelist.)

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4 Comments so far ↓

  • Rick Wolff

    I’ve got some questions, for which I’ll not abuse you further on Twitter.

    1) What kind of release timetable are they considering? In what stages? Like, will we at least be able to stick our head in for a peek first? Then later be able to post some things? Maybe text replies at first? The reason I ask is, the creative idea I told you about (http://is.gd/nkY) is destined for BlogTV, but I can picture doing this in Phreadz. Which means general access, not just for me but for participants. I won’t wait. But I might migrate.

    2) Will there be tools for building features for our own less-than-profit communities, features such as skins? Will everyone have access to the tools, or will they be kept to paying customers?

    I don’t know who else to ask these questions. I don’t know Kosso.

    May the commercial potential of Phreadz be realized. And may you have something to do with it for some clientele.

  • Adele McAlear

    I think, conceptually, Preadz would fit the bill for your project because it allows people to reply to your video with photos (which is what you told me on Twitter that you wanted to do.)

    Ihave pinged Kosso on your behalf to help with your questions. I don’t have the release schedule, but my guess is that it will be some time yet before Phreadz will be totally open access. Definitely don’t wait if you have to get on with things.

    My understanding is that channels will not be free. The channel management tools will have the ability for channel managers to work with the CSS to create a totally custom look.

    I hope this helps a bit. These are still early days for Phreadz.

  • Rick Wolff

    I gotta tell you, as the Web is teaching pre-Web businesses the art of conversation, letting their guard down and showing how corporations are made of people who sometimes deserve sympathy, so too are non-corporate people losing their squeamishness over capitalism as they start doing things to get more blog readers, that can only be called marketing. We watch people of our own tribe stick their neck out and start a business, and we wish them well, because they widen a path we may also follow sometime soon. The fact that Kosso is laying out a plan to monetize Phreadz means it intends to last a long time. When we develop a project that needs a home, we look for longevity. “Legs.” I think the more business-minded users of Seesmic, and for that matter Twitter, wonder what will happen when the money switch gets thrown. But since Phreadz lays out an income map immediately, I can’t help but root for it. Do you know what I mean?

  • Adele McAlear

    Yes, Rick, I know what you mean. As a pragmatist, I am very encouraged by Phreadz building a business model into the product from the very beginning. I wish more start-ups would learn this lesson.

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