aLearning Blog

Online Learning for Trade Associations

Social Networking Providers

Posted by Ellen on October 14, 2009

If your assocation has decided to incorporate an internal social network (“white label network”) — a network that resides in your Web space, attached to your Web site and usually connected to your AMS, as opposed to FaceBook, LinkedIn, and other publicly-available systems — then you’ll want to get your hands on this new white paper from Socialfish.

Maddie Grant and Lindy Dreyer have pulled together a great starting point for anyone considering implementing a system. Drawing from interviews with key vendors, the 50 or so page document summarizes the companies and their systems, with details about the features, backend structures (important to make sure members will be able to access the system and you’ll be able to provide it), pricing models, and contact information.

They intentionally didn’t provide one of those checkmark charts, but you might decide to create your own in order to sort through the narrative comments.

And keep in mind that these are vendors Socialfish knew to contact — rather than a comprehensive representation of all available vendors and systems. Keep your eyes and ears open to any other companies you hear about, because this is not a complete list. The white paper provides a good model for the sorts of questions you can ask to begin exploring those companies.

More than that — make sure you have done your homework! You won’t know what you’re looking for if you don’t know what you need.

It’s like ordering at your favorite restaurant — you could order everything on the menu (it all sounds so good, right?!), but that gets expensive and you’ll be full before you get through everything.  Going in with an idea of “what you’re hungry for” will help you narrow your choices and make the best decisions.

Get your copy of the white paper here: http://socialfish.org/wp-content/downloads/socialfish-vendor-whitepaper.pdf

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