menu

Jermaine Dupri On The Secrets Of Building An Online Community

Advertising

The rapper, producer and entrepreneur tells us how being real and personal online is what will make you a success.

Dan Gould
  • 20 february 2012

In a keynote speech for Social Media Week, song writer and producer Jermaine Dupri spoke with iCrossing Chief Strategy Officer Adam Lavelle and Esquire Senior Editor Richard Dorment about his new social network Global 14. In the talk, he explained how shared passion, conversation and direct communication fuel his increasingly popular site.

PSFK chatted with Jermaine about the challenges and secrets of building a successful online community.

Everyone online today seems to be trying to build a community. Most fail. What was special about your approach that made Global 14 work so well?

Global 14 has succeeded because it is genuine and personal. As CEO of Global 14, I’m committed to making the community flourish. I treat Global 14 members as friends, not as casual followers. I interact personally with my community, and I share myself on the site each day. When I respond to something you wrote on Global 14, you’re really hearing from me, not someone I hired to manage my brand. And when Global 14 members see me posting content each day and interacting with the “Lifers” (as I call members), they are encouraged to share of themselves.

I also believe Global 14 succeeds because its members are bonded by shared passions. It’s a tight-knit community. People join Global 14 not only because they know who I am but because they share my passions for fashion, style, and music. Although people on Global 14 interact with each other as individuals, they typically join communities they’ve organized around their own interests such as relationships and movies. And communities reach out to new individuals and invite them. The sense of belonging is important.

For anyone trying to organize a community or network around something they do — what advice would you give them?

Be committed. You might attract a lot of members to a social network based on your brand name, but if you don’t invest time and effort interacting with your community personally, your network will die.

And be genuine. Don’t create a site using your own brand name and offload its management to someone else. I launched Global 14 with the promise that its members would interact with me personally, not someone on my team pretending to be me. When I become your friend on Global 14, you’re friends with me, for real.

I think these lessons apply to you whether you’re an individual celebrity or a company like Nike. You want to build a community? Treat your fans like friends, not followers.

We understand that you’re looking to evolve Global 14 to a lifestyle portal. Can you explain what you’re trying to do a little more – and why?

I’m taking Global 14 members on a journey. Because of my reputation, it’s not uncommon for people to join Global 14 for the hip-hop music you’ll find on the site. But very quickly Global 14 Lifers see that my world – the Global 14 world – is about much more than hip-hop. I’m about being an entrepreneur, enjoying good fashion, and living life with style. The most popular groups on Global 14 are about relationships, business networking, fashion, and movies along with music. I was bold enough to believe that by sharing my own lifestyle interests and passions, I could spark more communities inside Global 14 to grow. And that’s exactly what’s happening now.

Thanks Jermaine!

Global 14 / @Mr_Dupri

Trending

Machine Printer Uses Coffee Drips To Create Intricate Portraits

Arts & Culture
Technology december 2, 2016

Why Nest Doesn't Get The Holidays

PSFK founder reacts to the damaging effects of poor email marketing

Children december 2, 2016

Robots Could Be Joining Dubai’s Police Force In 2017

The real-life RoboCops can salute, shake hands and collect traffic fines

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Retail 2017

See All
Travel december 2, 2016

Parka Hides And Charges Portable Devices

Bolt is a jacket that lets people carry and charge their various electronics without the need for an outlet

Food december 2, 2016

Yelp's New 'Yelfie' Feature Lets Diners Take Selfies

The update is designed to encourage people to attach a selfie when they share their experiences

Design & Architecture december 2, 2016

Build Your Own Savory Cheese Advent Calendar

A British food blogger has created a guide to building a different kind of holiday surprise

Fitness & Sport december 2, 2016

Floating Gym Concept In Paris Is Powered By Your Workout

The proposed design from Carlo Ratti Associati lets passengers ride a stationary bike as they travel through Paris along the Seine River

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed december 1, 2016

Communications Officer: What This Holiday Season Means For Millennial Shoppers

Dallas Lawrence of the Rubicon Project shares why holiday cheer is all about likes, views and retweets

PSFK Labs december 1, 2016

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

Syndicated december 2, 2016

What Does The Future Of Android Look Like In A World With The Pixel?

Google’s decision to make its own phone might have looked like a blow to the likes of Samsung but the reality is much more interesting

Retail december 2, 2016

Customer Service Expert: Why Offline Retail Has Better Data Than Online Retail

Healey Cypher, Founder and CEO of Oak Labs, shares why we should be thinking about the physical store as an e-commerce site

Fashion december 2, 2016

Alexander McQueen Designs A 3D-Printed Umbrella

3D-printed fashion arrives in time for the winter season

Work december 2, 2016

Why Training Associates To Be Advocates Is Key To Retail Success

In our Future of Retail 2017 report, PSFK Labs discusses strategies to prioritize customer service, which begins with associate advocates

Media & Publishing december 2, 2016

Netflix Creates Binge Candle To Celebrate A New Season Of Gilmore Girls

The streaming service developed a special layered candle that creates candle with episode-specific smells

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Arts & Culture december 2, 2016

Interactive Film Tells A Story About Living With Cancer

A moving song written by a father of a cancer patient comes alive in a 3D environment

Automotive december 2, 2016

Audi And LEGO Exhibit Autonomous Vehicle Installation

The installation at Design Miami explores the 25th hour, which represents bonus productive work or play time

No search results found.