"Community based social network"
Anyone piloting this social network idea?
The concept has some merits, but I also have some concerns that members might be lost to other communities.
The idea is that there is a "Zoints" member profile at a zoints central site. Forum/community members can have their local profiles linked to the Zoints profile, and with that, the forum/community is linked into Zoints. Theoretically it allows more visibility to the forum.
I would like to hear some comments as to how this might help or hinder a startup, mid-life, or mature community. :)
If you are into IT based communities then you can try it but other wise people will get confused. The normal community discussion forums are still complex of many.
Have you looked at it how it works?
I did, but could not get a hang of it.
I think one way to introduce social networking to an existing forum community is to gradually enhance member profile capabilities and add networking features. People will still see the framework they are used to, and savvy early adopters will point the way on the new features.
I don't like it for many reasons.
I followed it's "top secret" development on vbulletin's .org site and they misled the entire community there into believing they were creating a LOCALLY HOSTED myspace addon for vbulletin when in fact that was not the case.
I think it could have been a good model, but the way they went about it was VERY wrong.
It might be successful, however what it would be successful in doing is providing the zoints people with a huge userbase and making the zoints people rich.
If you want to use it, you have to register. This means that every forum that uses ZOINTS as their main "profile editor", will give up that user to zoints, or at least share them.
It makes it a hassle to get to the user's regular profile, in essense featuring the zoints profile.
It was a very ingenous concept by them. They'll undoubtedly make tons of money from it.
I don't however, believe it will benefit your average forum owner in any way.
The profile issue is not valid, actually. You can turn profiles off in such a way that when a visitor clicks on a profile, it brings them to the regular vBulletin profile with a "link" to the Zoints profile...
Zoints is still in beta now, and only accepting certain forums until it goes live. It's a good system, and the individual community owner determines how much they want the profiles integrated with their system; from fully replacing them, or just having a link to them in their default profile.
As far as losing members, you shouldn't lose any more members than you would normally to other sites or forums. And with Zoints, your users are much more likely to find their way "home" to your site.
Plus, you have the option of branding, by default, their profiles with your logo and such. On mine, (I own a 'big board'), all of them have my site's full header with links back to my key pages (backlinks, anyone?)