So I am looking at some options for EYPs technolgy platform at the moment as well as some of the social networking tools that are out there. A few of the bits and pieces that we are looking at include Kickapps and Webjam. With a group like EYP, we will always try and use the latest social media tools, including Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter and Viadeo. These are all great, but there are drawbacks – particularly wtih Facebook and LinkedIN… Facebook groups become problematic once you have over 1,200 members as you aren’t allowed to invite all your members to events, LinkedIN groups do not provide massive options for communicating with members (although recently this has improved) and neither is particularly useful in getting a good handle on who your members are – which is incredibly important when chatting with prospective sponsors and the like. We have around 7,000 members already, so we need something that can deal with a reasonable sized audience!
About one year ago or so on Gigaom (I think), there was a fantastic overview of social networking platforms including Kickapps which proved immensely useful for a consulting gig I did – hopefully a new overview of similar quality will come out soon which will make our job easier in finding the right thing to use. There was a great quote from Om Malik in Feb 2007 that said “It is time to start thinking beyond the web-page paradigm, and think of social networking as part of a larger “experience,” one that starts to blend the best of online and offline worlds.” In our case, we are seeking a good online presence to work alongside an already powerful offlne presence to build a really compelling proposition for our members. Of course, it is made more complex by the fact that many people are joined up on multiple social networks. Thus an important aspect of this going forward is to see whether our platform can easily integrate with other tools – I know for example that with KickApps, we can have widgets for WordPress and Twitter.