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July 19, 2006

Social media for associations

The other day Jeff De Cagna pointed to a WOMMA initiative to save the "word of mouth marketing" entry at Wikipedia from being combined with the entry for "viral marketing." I think this is a great idea, and furthermore I believe associations should be engaged in helping to build the body of knowledge in their particular areas of expertise on Wikipedia. This would be done by creating new entries as well as updating existing ones.

Then, someone posted a question to ASAE's membership section listserv about MySpace:

Our association is about to launch a new online forum for our student members. It's an online discussion board, and we're also looking at a "MySpace"-type feature on it. Do other associations have something similar to this? I'd appreciate any examples.
Immediately I thought: "Why don't you just set up a profile for your association at MySpace?" I started snooping around MySpace and I actually found about half a dozen profiles for associations. Mostly independent film and music associations, but they exist!

Then I thought, "There are online forum vendors offering MySpace-esque features for associations? Really?!?!?" Anyone know who they are?



Andy said...

Similarly, it's probably worth checking to see if someone has already set up a group for your organization on Myspace. When you see that someone has, it's a pretty good example of organizations losing some of the control. They're building community for themselves outside of your walls.

Ben said...

More power to them!

Sue Pelletier said...

I posted about your post on one of the meeting planner listservs, and most of the responses I got were that they wanted to be able to get their own ad revenue, MySpace is too oriented toward "hooking up" for any self-respecting association to want to be associated with it, and that it's so big and sprawling that it wouldn't do them any good.

In other words, no interest whatsoever. I did hear a lot of good things about using Joomla's Community Builder on the association's site. Joomla seems to have a lot of the same components as MySpace, and it's either free or really inexpensive. I haven't looked into it, but if I were an association interested in doing this, I'd check it out.