Hey everyone! April is over so its time to take a look at what has been happening this month with the SocialEngine community!
New Add-ons and Updates:
Location / City Specific Content – This package enables you to get your locations centric website up and running quickly in few minutes.
Dating system – A plugin to help develop a dating site that features Mutual Likes, Gifts, Dating photos, Ajax searching and any fields searching, Highlighing members widgets and much more!
Socialengine iOS APP – SocialAPI is our native mobile app (not Hybrid HTML5/CSS) for online communities for SocialEngine 4.x based on our SocialEngine REST API. This app has all major functionalities bundled with SocialEngine out of the box, namely User Registration, Profile, Activity Feed, Albums, Events, Notifications, Friends and Messages in a nice and compact user interface.
Community Owner Spotlight:
Dogfriendzy.com has long been one of the most active and successful sites built with SocialEngine Cloud. This dedicated community of animal lovers have shown their interest and support for their four legged friends by engaging in one of Dogfriendzy’s many breed specific communities. We recently got to chat with the site’s owner, Kiki Kane to gain a little insight into how she built her community.
What is your social community?
I run DogFriendzy.com which is a network of 21 breed-specific photo sharing sites.
How long have you been running it?
I joined the Friendzy team in March 2013. Rover.com was looking to expand the concept from just a single breed website to multiple breeds. Pitfriendzy was the first.
What is the greatest advantage of creating a community with SocialEngine versus using pre existing platforms to establish a community?
Social Engine has just exactly the features we needed to allow users to painlessly join a community and start participating immediately. A user can sign up and begin posting their beautiful puppy pictures in 3 minutes flat—less if they use the Facebook sign-in function! And with the seamless integration we get by pairing Social Engine with dlvr.it’s social syndication power, that same new user can see their beloved puppy featured on our Facebook page the same day too! It’s empowering, engaging, and just plain fun to participate in our communities thanks to Social Engine.
What inspired you to create this particular community?
I was invited to help build these communities by a former colleague from the Cheezburger Network who was a fan of my work there building new websites and communities around internet humor.
I am a big-time animal lover—I have two dogs, two cats, and a horse! I love learning and sharing knowledge and humor with like-minded people, so Friendzy was a natural fit for me.
How did you come up with the name for your social community?
Dog Friendzy already had its name when I joined the team.
If you had to describe the personality of your social community in three words what would they be?
Passionate Breed Lovers
Do you have a favorite moment that has taken place in your social community?
When the communities were just starting out, it was so fun to see how fast a new site would catch on and spread. It’s like throwing a party—you prepare the venue, set up the music and hors d’oeuvres and cross your fingers until that first guest arrives, then next thing you know the party is hopping!
What is the best part about managing your social community?
I love getting people talking together and sharing experiences. Most of our social interaction happens on the Facebook pages, and my favorite thing to see is when a photo gets shared and immediately other pet parents are chiming in with their own photos in the comments, and submitting their similarly themed photos to the sites. My users get really active around the big holidays, especially Halloween. It’s 24/7 pet costumes for about six weeks.
What is your least favorite part about managing your social community?
I hate to see bullying and negativity. We have hot button issues with some of our audience, such as ear cropping and tail docking. No matter your personal opinion, being nasty to a stranger on the internet is just never going to change their mind. I haven’t had to get out my Moderator Baseball Bat of Love recently which is great. I think I keep everyone in line.
How has managing this social community affected your relationship to what the community is about?
It’s very interesting to see what trends are afoot among different breed groups. For example, beagle fans just love stories of beagles being naughty like dogshaming posts and videos of beagles sneaking on the counter taken with the nanny cam. Corgi lovers seem to love internet humor and memes the most, and Chihuahua lovers are unable to own just one Chihuahua as far as I can tell. You have to have at least three.
What advice do you have for people trying to start a social community with SocialEngine?
Don’t be afraid to add a few social media outlets to your community. You might feel like you are spreading your content thin or being overly repetitive, but you need to provide the content on the platforms where the people who share your affinity are already swarming and lure them to your home base. On the flip side, don’t feel like you have to keep supporting every social media outlet that exists if it clearly isn’t a match, but do test the waters.
For Friendzy, we experimented with Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter. We found out pretty quickly that while Pinterest was hugely popular with our users, reposting our content to their platform every day wasn’t significantly increasing daily traffic to our sites from Pinterest, so we kept all the “pin it” functionality but don’t duplicate our posts to that platform anymore.
Facebook was the only “must have” we needed to complement our Social Engine sites. Seeing our content in their Facebook feeds reminds users to submit pictures more often! New users tend to dump the entire dog album off their phone then forget to come back and update regularly. Facebook keeps Friendzy top of mind, while in turn providing great content in your newsfeed.
Thanks so much to Kiki for taking the time to chat with us! We hope you all gained some insight.
Are you launching a new site? Would you like to be featured on our Community roundup? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and send us the URL for your site so we can check it out!