Whatever your niche, your audience is hungry to connect with others, offer opinions, gain insights from leaders, and become part of the in-crowd that shares and fuels its passions.
I wrote that statement seven years ago in my first book, “Capturing Community: How To Build, Manage, and Market Your Online Community,” yet the premise seems more relevant now than ever before.Business leaders across industries today are quickly realizing the internal and external value of collaboration platforms — online tools used to drive engagement and collect user-generated content.
You can think of these platforms as intranets or extranets that allow you to:
- Facilitate communication among team members
- Review topics, activities and interests that exist within your organization
- Easily create content to share
- Receive comments and feedback from other members of the community
There are a seemingly infinite number of options to create these platforms. Facebook. LinkedIn. Slack. Yammer. On and on and on. There also is the option to create a customized solution.
None of these options are perfect though, and each has limitations. If you go with an existing social platform like Facebook or Slack, you face potential privacy challenges like customization control and ownership of content. You may not get the analytics you want or you might lose access to certain bits of member information. If you go with the custom route, you will likely spend in excess of $150,000.
So, what do you do?
What if you could deploy a customized intranet tailored specifically for your users for less than $10,000? That is what we are able to offer thanks to GoalGorilla, a Drupal development, marketing and design company based in the Netherlands, that built Open Social.
Open Social is a Drupal Distribution, which means it features Drupal Core and additional software that makes it possible to create your own community, intranet or network. At Duo, we’re able to take that software and customize it to help you reach your business goals.
Users have the option to communicate with one another in many of the same ways they currently do on existing social networks. Users can mention each other in a post or comment, like an event or post, comment on another user’s post, etc. You can create groups to gather people with similar interests or expertise, as well as organize events where people can meet and interact, either face-to-face or online.
Open Social also features an activity stream, personal notifications, a powerful search function and much more.
A great example of Open Social in action is www.youth4peace.info, which is a platform built for the United Nations to “provide users and partners access to relevant and timely information and knowledge on youth, peace and security and act as a virtual meeting place for those striving to collaboratively support and enhance the participation of young people in peacebuilding.” The site is really informative and features a robust collection of content and tools for anyone who wants to get involved or learn more about supporting young people’s participation in peacebuilding.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) selected Drupal and Open Social for two reasons:
- It’s familiarity with and preference for Drupal’s open-source system.
- OpenSocial’s status as a distribution; not only did Open Social already feature most of the UNDP’s needed elements, like blogs, events and profiles, but as a distribution, the UNDP was confident the Drupal community would support and maintain the platform for years to come.
Drupal has always been a popular choice for social projects and communities, and Duo has been creating customized collaboration platforms on Drupal for nearly a decade. Whether it was helping Bloomberg Media create a community for global business leaders to share and react to market-moving news, assisting Accenture to develop a digital space for employees and clients to interact, or working with BDO to build a network for business referrals and sharing of internal industry knowledge, we’ve always worked with our clients to understand their needs and used Drupal and the cloud to solve their problems.
We’re comfortable working with the Open Social Distribution, and we’re excited to use it to help our clients improve their collaboration. Do you think you could benefit from Open Social? Contact us today and we’ll see if Open Social and Duo are right for you.