1. Thanks Aliza. As I said in our blog post we are currently working on most required features so that it’s possible to see the aces in our sleeves. Feel free to watch the progress on our blog.

  2. Great post! This is a keeper for me, since I’m occasionally asked why social networks should be of any interest to companies and nonprofits.

  3. Hey Aliza!

    Just wanted to note that we recently launched an Events feature, and our Forum allows for easy document attachments/sharing. For a peek at some more cool stuff on the horizon, check out our 3-Month Product Roadmap blog post.

    Thanks!
    Kyle Ford
    Director of Product Marketing, Ning

  4. I’ve found that a branded social network is an easier sell to the brand than to the user. Companies want to jump on the SN bandwagon, but users are busy enough already on Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Dogster, Sneakerplay, Bebo, and god knows wherever else

    Rather than build a complete social network, I prefer to incorporate simple, familiar social features into the branded environment that make for a compelling experience without requiring a major ongoing commitment from the user.

  5. aliza sherman Thursday, May 15, 2008

    Josh – good points. I do find, however, that those people who are NOT busy with Facebook, MySpace, etc. but are loyal to particular brands, can be introduced to social networking by a custom network hosted by their favorite brand. It facilitates their first social networking experience.

    We in the “biz” tend to forget that there are millions and millions of people out there who have yet to get a MySpace or Facebook page, let alone Dogster and Bebo. I meet at least several a week including clients, friends, and people I talk to at the coffee shop, the grocery store, at networking events, at the gym, at the doctor’s office, at the mall, etc.

  6. Travis Retzlaff Friday, May 16, 2008

    Are you getting into the business of building social networks? And if so, what tools are you using?

    Yes.

    Lotus Connections. Parts of IBM really do get “it” and produce some fantastic software.

  7. André Araújo Sunday, May 18, 2008

    I have been working on selling social networks projects for specific purposes in Brazil since last year. For more than one year – until last week, to be more precise – I have successfully delivered in a SaaS structure SNs for a handful of clients, ranging from nationwide educational programs (a SN for teachers, and the job also has a consultancy in best educational practices for the teachers as well) to a internal corporate SN for a bank that wants to capture stories among its collaborators in its 200th anniversary. The software at hand is a work in progress proprietary SN called AMIGOS. It is a Java 2EE application, which is a both a product and object of a Doctorate and several Masters researchs at the Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil.

    Having left my employee last week, I am right now starting a social media consultancy biz, and will primarily focus in the advertising business. Web APIs from Kickapps and Ning are my weapons of choice, but I am still nurturing the foundation of my first job.

  8. André Araújo Sunday, May 18, 2008

    @Josh
    @Aliza

    We are always at several social networks, whether they’re web-based or not.

    While I agree to some extent that having several “branded-CRMish SNs” we may have some sort of overdose, isn’t it possible for companies to run non-instrusive SNs that permeate all their other SNs through their API/widgets layers?

    It’s not link having avatars or things like that, but more like SNs over several SNs.

  9. @ Aliza:

    The people I work with are trying to reach audiences that are already heavy web users – and I’m in San Francisco – so I admit to forgetting about the rest of the world sometimes….

    @ Andre:

    I think that’s right. Taking the brand’s content and tapping into existing communities to put that content in front of people where they already are.

  10. I understand that everyone is looking to make a buck but this turns my stomach, trying to profit off of people’s social networking. It doesn’t exist to be a “market”, it is for people to make connections with each other. Once you bring in the profiteers, you kill the whole thing and if the social networks get saturated with advertisements, people will just go find some other vehicle to connect where people aren’t trying to sell them something.

Comments have been disabled for this post