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Dell Hell: the Symbolic web learning

August 8, 2008

I find it amazing that the very story that made “social media”  known to a broad audience was made possible by the invention of an expression, a community code: “Dell Hell”

By coining the expression, “dell hell”, Jeff Jarvis made it possible to track the spread of his story around the blogosphere and measure its impact on Dell sales, share price aso.

Some data points:
Buzz and Jarvis represent a 25% market share of the “dell hell” search in google, for a total above 44K articles, way above “hp hell” or “apple hell“.

( :-) sound like if you’re a consumer electronic manufacturer, a 3K range in Google for “yourname hell” is a decent score which is quite a number, just compare to walmart hell )

With his story getting momentum, J Jarvis also created a symbol that signals whether someone belongs to the social media community or not. As you read this post, either you already know the story behind “dell hell” and this is a strong indication that you’re deep in social marketing or you don’t and you are probably not spending your life in social media.

So what’s the learning there:

- one of the paradigm shift of the social web, is that people are writing for communities and no longer building one size fits all articles. This means using symbols & styles to discriminate who’s in and who’s out, things that only community members (and our patent pending search algorithm) will spot and decode.
- people also collectively build “explicit routes” for the content to flow. Using trackbacks and blogroll to name a few, writers creates community maps that overlay the web structure and take an active role in a process that used to be left to search engines

This, to us, means that symbolic web is the best candidate for web3.0 in a context where the internet is transitioning from universal to social.

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