Large social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter, have a unique and distinct plan to keep users attached to their websites. However, there are still some people who just do not find them alluring anymore. As a result, many companies are building platforms which enable users to create a unique, just-they-way-they-want type of social networking website. People can build their site from scratch, or they can build it using templates — and there is always something or everyone.
Of the many available, there are three methods that are primarily preferred in the field of customizable social networking site creation. The first one (and the only one we are going to focus on) is: search-Google-and-help-yourself style programming — with which customers can basically spot and touch their creativity to a wholly different web page. To understand this better, below are examples of four of these companies: KickApps, CrowdVine, Ning, & Haystack. Each of which offer free-of-charge baseline services:
Don’t be discouraged by this one since this solution is focused more at developers that want to incorporate social network attributes into their established websites (minus the trouble of coding and maintaining those features). However, when you begin to construct your social networking site with this program, you will be started off with a very dull, standard layout that you then must mold to make something adequately attractive. The good thing is that this lets you tailor your website address for no-cost, so customers do not think they are exiting the primary site. Also, users get endless storage space and bandwidth for all that multimedia content that’s going to be posted by your users — the works! Plus, each network is given its own personal user base so that people have the experience that they are entering a particular system and not a default web page, like many other social networking solutions. To make this even better, KickApp is willing to be completely invisible in providing its solutions to affiliates — that means anything even remotely representing KickApps will not exist on the site, including the logo.
KickApps always provides the most robust set of widget creation tools, which are intended to help affiliates market their networks using viral marketing. The widgets are built with a “quick use control platform” that allows them to be used on other web pages as well. These types of widgets will allow different people to come to come to your network by merely clicking on it.
CrowdVine offers the simplest, most basic setup. A few of the main features of CrowdVine are its user profiles, wall posts, and public messaging — something that Orkut was known to have — however, you will not find any productive media sharing features (for photo and video clips). Because of this, the platform is a favorite among professionals creating business profiles, alumni meet-ups and some universities. Due to the limited options regarding the appearance and design of the platform, the idea behind CrowdVine is solely to be used as a limited service provider.
Here is the great, and easy to use, platform called “Ning.” Ning offers a wide variety of options that makes it comparatively one of the natural choices for setting up an entirely workable, and visually appealing, social website created from nothing. While Ning endeavors to provide primarily the same services as Me.com (and other social networking services), none of its competitors can yet match the professionalism and surrealism of its services. Due to which the company hosts seventy-six thousand networks.
The primary Ning package enables affiliates to build an advertisement supported network alongside all of the services they provide. This platform includes a friendly setup process, in which a member chooses a layout, tweaks the looks and can install options — such as picture and video uploading, groups, and blog postings. In just minutes, the member has developed an impressive website that is set to admit its members, which can be invited by sending an email or via a Ning ID (which most other websites do today)… plus, it makes it look like an exclusive site!
For most affiliates, the simplicity in which you can establish a stable networking site will be the trading point. However, Ning also offers an “Advanced” option, which enables sites to break partially out of the traditional Ning style. Associates can disable advertisements or even run their own ads for twenty dollars/month, plus members can mask their website’s URLs for only five dollars a month. Moreover, they have accessibility to Ning’s comprehensive Developer Documentation and access to an application programming interface for their advanced customizing needs. Effectively, their application programming interface allows programmers to contemplate the essential Ning system and substitute it, whereas KickApps motivates advanced modification by providing developers with a basic foundation to build on.
Although the Ning software can be altered and made almost entirely invisible by removing Ning logos and other Ning visuals (also concealing the URL), all networks managed by Ning partake in the same user foundation. For instance when a user joins your Ning network as a member, they obtain a Ning identification that runs with various other Ning networks. This little default “perk” sometimes makes Ning members reconsider, especially for those who want to brand their social website completely.
GroupSite is a borderline customizable social network platform, with a very slim range of customization solutions. Users of this platform cannot send friend invites to each other, making it limited to the expansion of a user’s social circle that is the essential need for every social networking website. Beyond this unique characteristic, GroupSite offers an impressively enhanced means for people to link or share info and other data within a controlled social networking setting. The central feature of a GroupSite includes a calendar, forum and file sharing or uploading page — used for sharing media, etc. The platform’s distinctive feature is that its users can list personalized objectives and announce any critical connections (i.e. partnership) a person or a group has with certain people. These attributes reinforce the feeling that platforms such as GroupSite are designed principally for businesses that are collaborating online with colleagues. While GroupSite’s free plan is backed by advertisements, the company’s approach appears to be especially focused on earning money by providing premium features.
For more details, you can check out all of their websites and try their thirty day trial period.
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