Finally an Affordable, Scalable Community Platform

Which Way Do I Go?


Clarity speciliazes in DNN Evoq Social Community design and development
Social Community Networking software, community software, and/or social platforms (whatever you want to call them) appear to live at the extremes. You either have the XOOPS, ELGG or some other light-weight, free, open source platform with an occasional Ning thrown in. In other instances, you have the heavy weights, Jive and Yammer, running $3-8 per user per month. For large communities of 10,000 or more, you could spend upwards of $1M a year—just for the platform! Where is the social platform for the 95% of the other companies who can’t afford astronomical prices or simply need more support/features than the open source platforms currently provide? That’s where DNN Evoq Social comes in.

What Does DNN Evoq Social Cost?


DNN Evoq Social comes in two flavors. The first allows you to purchase a standard license, just like any CMS, where you install and run the community platform on your server or any hosted environment (Amazon, GoDaddy, PowerDNN, etc.). The second is a pre-hosted option, provided and supported by DNN themselves on Microsoft’s Azure cloud. This more costly offering provides additional features, such as: automated backups, fail-over redundancy, elastic performance, global CDNs, an SLA and more. How much more you ask? The DNN cloud offering is roughly a 30% uplift to the standard license.

Just like any platform, implementation costs can vary greatly. One implementation we’re working on right now was paying over $6,000/month for their community or $72,000/year. We’re moving them to the premium Evoq Cloud installation, which will be a multi-server, redundant, load-balanced platform with many more features than their existing platform and we're saving them tens of thousands (more than 50% savings). For Yammer, prices would have started at $900,000/month and run up to $2.4M per month - Yikes!

What Features are In DNN Evoq Social?


The platform is seamlessly integrated with DNN’s Evoq CMS (formerly DotNetNuke). This enterprise-class platform supports over 750,000 companies, and is the CMS standard for the Army, Navy, Air force, Marines, NASA, EU, NSA, Bose, Motorola and roughly 750,000 other companies. So, it’s built to perform in the most demanding enterprises, yet priced as the best price/value for the masses. If you've purchased Evoq Content (formerly DNN Professional), then it inherits all the features and functionality of that platform too.

Key Features of the Platform:

  • Gamification – activity-based badge earning
  • Ideation – solicit feedback with voting, sorting
  • Reputation and experience points
  • Blogs
  • Discussions
  • Social Groups
  • Activity Streams
  • Leaderboards
  • Relationship tracking
  • Bookmarking
  • Custom search
  • Personal profile progress tracking
  • Content flagging
  • Moderation
  • Notifications
  • Social Dashboard
  • Analytics and metrics
  • Developer controls and APIs
  • Self-correcting community behavior


That’s a Long List. What’s Unique?

Every community platform I’ve used or tested has features that overlap the others, but DNN Evoq Social has a unique combination of features. This, with the fact that it’s built on top of an extremely powerful CMS, gives it the technical edge to beat out competition.

Reputation and Experience

Evoq Social has 126 tasks defined out-of-the-box which can have positive or negative points associated with performing a task (i.e. a user submits an idea and it’s approved could earn 3 reputation points and 1 experience point, or answering a closed question or posting an inappropriate response can result in points being taken away, etc.). Those points are accumulated in each user’s profile to build up their reputation and experience score. Managing the community can be done by moderators, assigned by you, or you can set thresholds to moderate things within the community (i.e. any user that has earned 1,500 experience points can close a discussion, or approve a blog post, or delete a stupid answer to a question, etc.). This unique points system allows the community’s most active members to naturally grow into the moderating “panel”—establishing a healthy community and lowering the time spent moderating the community yourself. Although points are assigned out-of-the-box, you can edit the number of points awarded or removed for any task and you can add points adhoc to a user (i.e. creating or promoting a user to a moderator early on if no one has earned enough points, run a contest for a promotion idea and award 1,500 points to the best submitted idea, etc.). What a great way to incent employees for a corporate community to submit ideas and promote user engagement.

Gamification

“It’s not about the technology, it’s the psychology.” Gamification is used to incent behavior and promote long-lasting user engagement. You can award badges based on activities and actions (i.e. give a Content Star award for someone who posts a blog, gets it approved and receives 5 positive votes, etc.). It can become very granular and you can create your own badges and graphics for badges. Earning badges can enhance your reputation and experience points and improve user engagement. For Sales, it’s an easy way to create friendly competition.

Ideation

One might argue that ideation is just another name for a forum thread or post. I would submit that although it’s similar, it is indeed very different. With Evoq Social, you can submit an idea to a specified social group or circle, just like a forum. However, along with the points system, you can independently assign votes if you want. The users can then use those votes to vote up or down an FAQ response, an idea, a blog post, an event, etc. Where it differs from the forum, is that the ideas with the most votes bubble up and the ones with the most negative votes bubble down or drop off. This is another self-managing aspect of Evoq Social and ensure that users quickly get the “best” or highest-rated content no matter what they’re looking for.

Leaderboards

There are many different types of activities going on within the community. A few were mentioned above (posting events, blogs, FAQs, etc.). In addition to the activities is the reputation and experience profile scores, displayed in each user’s profile. Evoq Social also has a community dashboard, where contextually throughout the community, you see the leaderboard for that area (i.e. Top Contributed Ideas or Content, Top Contributors, etc.).

Social Groups

Social groups can be created as either public or private. This means that you can create an “all employees” group for everyone to participate in, while having an “executive staff” or “managers” group marked as private whereby users must be added or invited to attend. The same group visibility holds true for blogs, events, ideas, FAQs, etc. Now, the management team can have their own event calendar, FAQs, etc. Extend the concept beyond your corporate walls, and you can have client and partner groups, marketing, sales, topical groups and more.

SEO Value

One of my favorite concepts, being a marketing guy, is that the community is natively built on top of a CMS. With no extra development effort, I can make any of the public elements, pages, FAQs, blogs, events, social groups, comments, etc. all SEO-rich indexed content for my website. I like promoting fresh content on my client’s websites and this is a great leveraged model, far more potent than what a simple blog can do. I’ve got one client with a community of 267,000 members who have created more than 28,000 blogs (over 500,000 blog posts), 18,000 galleries (in a single community) and that’s just the start. The site has more than 1.6M indexed pages.

Extensibility

With the CMS capabilities, all of the standard features of a website (pages, calendars, forms, content, advertisements, galleries, etc.) are available to the Evoq Community. The community’s navigation and elements can be natively integrated into sections within the menu section of your website, intranet or support portal (i.e. FAQs can be listed under Support, Ideas can be listed under Feedback or Contact Us, etc.). With the CMS comes tens of thousands of off-the-shelf DNN modules and solutions that may offer new community features and functionality. Finally, with the API, you can always build your own customizations if needed.


Where Can I Use Evoq Social?

Evoq Social is flexible enough to where clients want it implemented in virtually every area of their business. This solution can serve as an extension of their employee/corporate intranet, a gamified support community partner/sales community, and even a social platform like Facebook.

We serve a client with 83 franchise locations, all independently owned and operated. The forward thinking leadership team is constructing a community to help all their franchises collaboratively share ideas, successes, and promotions. We’re creating social groups for roles, which will allow the manager of each franchise to securely share issues and sales numbers with managers in other locations. Marketing individuals are now involved in a much larger marketing group to share strategies, stories, graphics, etc. Ultimately, it’s a great investment for the franchise owner to help promote growth and healthy competition among their franchises.


The Best Choice - The Best Deal

Whether you try to increase sales, customer retention, employee engagement, drive innovation, reduce support costs, or just promote a community, DNN Evoq Social is a great value alternative. Give your web development provider a call for more information.

 

Also, for more information on using a DNN Evoq Social Community to convert customers to clients, click here.

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