This is brief as I am swamped here at the office, however I did want to post quickly about a new social network. Is it new? I tend to judge networks by when people actually use them …
Today I received my first connection invitation from Grouply, a social network service linked to Yahoo! Groups. All Yahoo! Groups are eligible to join Grouply and any member that joins can send invitations to the entire group population. This one might be dynamite because Yahoo! Groups have been one of the major list-serv engines for almost a decade if not more – that means a lot of people receiving a lot of invitations to join a network with a niche feel (related to their particular group).
Consider the uwebd mailing list & nich network: this will be a bit biased because of the audience. When a uwebd social network was created on ning – to supplement the healthy list-serv – people quickly registered. It would be neat to know what percentage of the mailing list joined – I’ll have to ask Mark Greenfield if he knows. Collegewebeditor.com also created a spin off social network, this one from a blog. According to the site owner, uptake was huge – and fast. Both these are rather "web inclined" audiences, but even a more muted uptake will still give Grouply a huge starting user base. Did I mention that you barely have to register? A lot of the details are handled from your already existing Yahoo! account.
I liked the warm and cuddly reminder to enter legit name information … any other networks doing this?
Once done the very quick registration process, I am taken into the network. There is bright red text in the upper right corner telling me that action is needed! Clicking on it takes me directly to the screen where custom settings are required. Action Needed again is in red beside the exact field I need to update. Once done, I click on the top right again and am taken to the next setting … and so on until the upper right text disappears. For me I believe it was 3 settings and then done.
I’ve included more screenshots below, however I’ll give you my conclusions now rather than buried under 7 screens For lists such as uwebd, a niche network such as supported by Grouply may increase user engagement or engage users who were less attracted to the email format. For a publication, such as collegewebeditor, a niche network creates an opening to engage readers and build activity, buzz etc. Both these are were already very healthy communities or readerships in my opinion. For the "dead" community, like a mailing list with membership but no recent activity, Grouply may actually serve to revive the list!
That’s all for now, below are my screenshots for your curiosity (or check it out yourself!)
Here is a shot of my Grouply home screen.
Here is a Grouply profile
Here is one last profile sample