Two weeks ago, I met a copy writer and ex singer-songwriter, and a video expert, who wanted to start a social network for independent professionals from the creative industry. They had figured to build one themselves, but I convinced them in five minutes that DIY wasn’t the best approach here. Especially since they only wanted to reach around 200 people. So I told these two enthusiastic guys they basically had two options: create a group within a network like LinkedIn or start a Ning community. Now there’s a third option: Neeetz.
Creating a group within a social network
First thing I told them is they could start a LinkedIn or Facebook group, to check how many people are really interested in actively participating in (another) online community. Main advantage is that most people already have an account, so it’s a one-click matter. Also, they don’t have to check more than one social network. A major disadvantage is the lack of engagement. Most social network users see a group just as some sort of tattoo for their profile page: this brand/ politician / food represents my image. Users hardly check what’s going on in the (most of the times dead) community.
Ning versus Neeetz
So this lack of engagement might make you want to choose for creating a community of your own within a service like Ning. They offer you the possibility to create your own social network with a few mouse clicks. You can give it a custom-made look, without loosing the basic features of a social network. Neeetz takes this a little
but bit further by letting you build a network pixel by pixel. That would convince me to opt for this service, as the more you give a social network its own face, the sooner people will feel connected to it, as it looks like a more distinct community, instead of yet another Facebook group rip-off.
And then, once you’ve built an active community, you might want to consider building a network yourself.