How to Choose the Right Online Community Platform

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(Originally presented at a CMSWire webinar)

How do you choose the right platform for your online community? Follow these ten steps:

1) Start with strategy
2) Know thy market
3) Develop your requirements
4) Prioritize your requirements
5) Create a checklist
6) Use a smart feature and functionality checklist
7) Compile a list of potential vendors
8) Invite vendors to complete your checklist
9) Use the smart checklist as your demo agenda
10) Use your smart checklist to inform your decision

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  • What outcomes do you expect?What does success look like?How will your users interact with your community?
  • What outcomes do you expect?What does success look like?How will your users interact with your community?
  • Understand your potential users.Technographics.Focus groups, surveys.What are their hopes, dreams, aspirations, problems? How can your org help?
  • TechnicalFunctional
  • Not all requirements are equalSome aren’t even necessaryFORCE yourself to prioritize – force rank the requirements or put them into tiers
  • Not all requirements are equalThe checkmark assumes yes/no, but there’s more nuance to it than yes/noUse a percentage complete or percentage satisfiedAre the features fully baked? Compared to the competitors, how complete are the features?
  • Not all requirements are equalThe checkmark assumes yes/no, but there’s more nuance to it than yes/noUse a percentage complete or percentage satisfiedAre the features fully baked? Compared to the competitors, how complete are the features?
  • Not all requirements are equalThe checkmark assumes yes/no, but there’s more nuance to it than yes/noUse a percentage complete or percentage satisfiedAre the features fully baked? Compared to the competitors, how complete are the features?
  • You can use their responses to narrow your list of prospective vendors
  • Take control of the demoEvaluate each requirement based on level of completeness
  • Involve community stakeholders in the demos and completing the checklist
  • Bring your teammates checklists together and discuss them.The checklist is NOT the end-all-be-all for your decision.Use the checklists to inform your decision making, but do not feel obligated to choose strictly based on the numbers.
  • How to Choose the Right Online Community Platform

    1. 1. Ben Martin, CAE Dennis Shiao Chief Engagement Officer at Online Community Results Director, Product Marketing at DNN @bkmcae http://www.onlinecommunityresults.com @DNNCorp | @dshiao http://www.dnnsoftware.com
    2. 2. Start With Strategy
    3. 3. Know Thy Market
    4. 4. Develop Your Requirements
    5. 5. Prioritize Your Requirements
    6. 6. Create a Checklist
    7. 7. In Search of a Smart Checklist
    8. 8. Smart Feature and Functionality Checklist DOWNLOAD the Checklist: http://bit.ly/smartcheck
    9. 9. Compile a List of Potential Vendors
    10. 10. Online Community Software Selection Guide DOWNLOAD the Selection Guide: http://bit.ly/SelectionGuide14
    11. 11. Invite Vendors to Complete Your Checklist
    12. 12. Use the Smart Checklist as Your Demo Agenda
    13. 13. It’s a Team Game
    14. 14. Use Your Smart Checklist to Inform Your Decision
    15. 15. Summary 1. Start with strategy 2. Know thy market 3. Develop your requirements 4. Prioritize your requirements 5. Create a checklist 6. Use a smart feature and functionality checklist 7. Compile a list of potential vendors 8. Invite vendors to complete your checklist 9. Use the smart checklist as your demo agenda 10.Use your smart checklist to inform your decision
    16. 16. We Invite You to Visit Us Online Community Results: http://www.onlinecommunityresults.com DNN Evoq Social Online Community Solution: http://www.dnnsoftware.com/Solutions/Evoq-Social-OnlineCommunity-Management
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