I find it really hard to believe that Buzznet let go of Tony, but if I were a web2.0 or publishing company looking to push/pull into/from myspace, photo space and/or video space, I wouldn't let this guy sit around long... I would grab and fast.
I saw Tony at SXSW, and even after I went home, George hung with him some. Tony worked his ass off there and is the kind of guy crowds gather around because he can talk to anyone. He had some, uh, rather impressive results during his 7 months on the job, too:
all in all i was responsible for at least 13 million page views to buzznet in the seven and a half months that i was there. no one user had ever attracted more than 2.5 million hits other than the pretty boy bass player of the top 40 band fall out boy. i had one user account that got 9.5 million hits, another which is at 2.3 million, and my personal account went over a million hits just a few weeks ago, meaning not only had i been the only person to ever have two accounts to ever get over 2 million, but the only one to ever have three go over a million.
and to be honest, before i showed up no one even thought that anyone could get a million that quick, but one of my accounts did more than that in a week.
i took over 4,000 pictures and posted them, i wrote over 100 blog entries, i sent out over 50,000 messages to our users, and in seven months i hosted seven buzznet meetups in three different countries, most of the time at no cost to the company. i think i was a pretty decent community manager.
unfortunately not everyone saw it that way. which is why tonight im unemployed.
There are a lot of ripples from this news I have to process before I say much more But Tony's involuntary separation from Buzznet is a significant event in the world of social marketing and web 2.0. It's a reverse doocing of sorts. and I have to say, the attitude organizationally is not atypical of what I'm seeing from some web 2.0 cos who forget to shift gears from that "attraction" phase (during which time the community manager is pushing traffic traffic traffic and driving usage usage usage), to the "delight" phase, where the onus is on the the product/service to delight the folks who've joined up.
Otherwise you end up like orkut (Brazil not withstanding) and the dozen other social networks no one gives a shit about.
MySpace is at a critical point here too I think... Sure, its mass (and ma$$) alone will keep MySpace going, but the next amazonesque (the company that consistently re-delights) move in engaging the members who've put down roots, that's not the community manager's job.
Well, more soon on this one. I'll just say, best to you shakespierce. advice (not that you need any)? the way you make your living on the web should look a lot like the web --> become employed within a tapestry of relationships, not by xyz company.