Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Why You Need to Own Your Community

April 28, 2010: summarized from Chief Marketer -- As you’ve probably seen, Ning recently upset thousands of its users by announcing that it would no longer offer a free version of its online community platform.

Understandably, many people were not happy that they would have to start paying to keep their community on Ning. This also raised another issue: If you wanted to move your community off Ning, how would you do it?

The good news is that a few smaller open-source platforms stepped up and said they’d help people migrate their community from Ning to their solution.

While this Ning situation was unfortunate for community owners, it brings to light an interesting issue: the importance of owning your community data and platform.

For companies that are serious about building a community that fits with their business goals, owning the data from that community is a must—for a variety of reasons.

First and most important, you need to have access to the data for marketing purposes so that you can measure everything that’s going on in the community. What kind of content is effective? What are community members sharing and discussing? What are they buying? Which community members are the most active? Which are the most likely to invite friends?

Owning this data so you can study them and compare the value of community members to noncommunity members is essential to measuring return on investment and determining the success of your community. Ideally you’d have a platform that integrates with your overall database so that you could learn how your community members are different from your general customers.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/cRyo3Q

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