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Spencer Explores the SocialEngine Marketplace

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Howdy!

It’s been a fun week! I’ve been learning to swim! So far, I can do the dog paddle almost like an expert. Great, right?

I love to visit the SocialEngine team after a swim! They just get so excited to see me. I thought they all wanted a hug so I obliged each one. Oh they just loved it! They loved it so much, they put me in the Spencer room. That’s a room just for me. It has toys, chewed shoes, and some things I found and hid under my blankie. After a nap, I decided to go dig around the marketplace and found some great stuff. Good ole Spencer loves to share so have a gander at these:

Courses/Learning Section – Create courses and allow your members see lectures and try to complete tests! By SocialEnginePro . “I suggest a course on dog grooming…”

Social Publisher – Transform your website into a social hub around your member’s social identity. By SocialEngineMods . “Gee, this would make it really easy to post all about good ole Spencer to all social media outlets at once! You know you want to ;)”

Reactions/Emoji – An effective way to increase engagement and measure your members’ sentiment. By Radcodes . “I wonder if they have dog emojis…”

Scroll Top – Add a scroll to top button. By Web80 Team. “No one likes to be lost at the bottom of a page. This helps them pop to the top!”

Whoops! The team made me stop digging around. Now they have to patch the hole I made. Sure was fun though! Have a look at all of those great things I found and see if some of them would fit in with your site. You might find them as awesome as I did!

Thanks for spending time with me! Keep your tails wagging and your fur dry! Until next time, this is Spencer signing off. 😉

Posted in SocialEngine Marketplace, Spencer's Digs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Introducing SocialEngine’s Mascot Spencer W. Ebligo

SocialEngine Mascot

The SocialEngine team would like to introduce you to our new mascot, Spencer W. Ebligo. We had tremendous response for the naming campaign and are so appreciative of everyone that participated. With all of the creative names that were submitted, we felt that Spencer was the best choice and suits his personality perfectly.

The five runner up names were:

Skeeter Esquire
Soul Elektra
Stewie Edison
Sax W. Ebligo
Saidi Edrick

Congratulations both to the winner and all the runners up who have some great prizes coming their way! In appreciation for the time everyone took to send qualifying names, we’re also giving a 10% discount on a SocialEngine license to anyone that participated with qualifying entries. In addition to that, SocialEngineSolutions is giving a 30% discount on any products purchased from them. Full details about this surprise consolation prize is coming in emails to those that qualified.

Keep an eye out on our websites and various authorized places around the net for appearances from Spencer W. Ebligo.

With Appreciation,

The SocialEngine Team and Spencer

Posted in Company Updates | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Grand Opening! New SocialEngine Community

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Hello!

Recently, we announced that we would be opening a new community based on our SocialEngine PHP software. We are pleased to announce that it’s open! Come check it out here!

As we mentioned we would not be importing users, please sign up at our new community. For clients and experts, please be sure to choose the right profile type and “subscription” in order to have access to the areas you will want access to. Note that all subscriptions are free. This was just to aid with spam fighting and with sorting members into the correct member levels. Trial clients can also choose the “client” type and subscription. It would be best if you all use the same email that you use for your account with us as we will be checking to make sure everyone is in the right member levels.

For those without a license, you can also have a place in our community provided you choose the “Regular” profile type and the “Regular” subscription type. Please read our terms before joining as we will remove any members that join in a level they do not belong in. This is to protect our clients’ and experts’ privacy. If you accidentally joined in the wrong type, please contact us to fix your account.

This new forum will be used for issue reports and feature requests as mentioned in the previous blog. We will close out the public Github issue tracker once we release 4.9.3 when it’s ready soon. We’ll keep the Github feature section open for now as there are a lot of current feature requests, but please submit new feature requests in the new community.

It is our goal to have a vibrant and close community where everyone feels comfortable contributing and interacting. Please feel free to contact Donna, our Chief Evangelist, at the new community if you have any concerns. Our other staff is also available for questions but may not be on as often as she is.

With Appreciation,

The SocialEngine Team and Mascot

Posted in Company Updates | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Responsively Mobile with SocialEngine

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Our recent SEPHP 4.9 launch saw the introduction of our fully responsive Insignia theme. This article will introduce you to concept of responsiveness and how you can go responsively mobile with SocialEngine.

First, what is a responsive theme and why should you care?

According to StatCounter, “The combined traffic from mobile and tablet devices tipped the balance at 51.2 percent, vs. 48.7 percent for desktop access”  in a study last year. Many of these devices can have differing screen sizes. This can make it a challenge when visiting websites that aren’t “mobile ready.”

For example, if a user with a smartphone visits a site that doesn’t resize to fit his or her screen, they might not see important buttons, be able to sign up, log in, log out, or interact on the site. With that experience, they are far less likely to come back.

Here’s a view from a smartphone. In this view, we’ve used a standard theme and disabled the mobile plugin to show you what issues can be faced when a site is not mobile friendly:

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Notice in the image that the settings menus are cut off. It should show the change password and delete account menus. This is how it looks in a responsive theme:

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With a responsive theme, such as our Insignia theme, the site naturally scales down to fit the screen. This gives a seamless experience for the user and delivers content to them without hampering the view.

Ok, Responsive Themes Sound Great! What about a Mobile App Instead?

Great question! Mobile apps can be a good option if you have the spare cash to purchase the app and the yearly fees for Apple and Google. In most cases, you want to have a mobile app customized to your own site. Why? Because mobile apps need to work with every feature of the site. Since most sites have different features and settings, a custom app usually needs to be made in order to give the best experience for those using it.

Mobile apps require quite a bit of upkeep as well, which means more expense when upgrading or changing site design, logo, etc. Many find the price tag for a custom app a bit out of reach. There are third party experts that sell mobile apps and may have lower pricing for custom work. If you need a mobile app, it would be best to contact them for pricing it to suit your site.

Budget-wise Options for Mobile Devices with SocialEngine

As we showed you above, a responsive theme can be a great option as it “responds” and resizes to fit varying screens. SocialEngine also has a “mobi” plugin that further assists in delivering some items better for mobile devices. Using both of these options ensures a great experience for members of your SocialEngine community.

As such a high percent of people use mobile devices now, mainly smartphones, it makes sense to ensure your site responds well on those devices. Our Insignia responsive theme allows a great deal of flexibility to change colors and more via CSS.

If that’s not to your desire, there are third party experts with responsive themes as well. Each of the theme experts can answer any questions you may have about their themes. These are affordable options to have a more custom look with a responsive design.

We hope you’ve found this helpful! If you have any questions about this article, please feel free to ask at our community.

Today’s quote:

“Your positive action combined with positive thinking results in success.”~ Shiv Khera

Posted in Tips and Tutorials | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Name the SocialEngine Mascot and Win!

Hello!

We’re so excited to introduce the newest member of the SocialEngine family. We’ve just got one problem. Our mascot doesn’t have a name yet. That’s where you come in. We could use your help to name our brand new mascot. In appreciation of your help, whomever submits the best name will win items worth up to approximately $6,300 and five runners up will receive discounts worth up to approximately $1,700 each  ! That’s a total of more than approximately $15,300 in value!

A bit of background info on our mascot:

  • Our mascot is a Saint Bernard pup.
  • Our mascot loves the spotlight!
  • Jazz and blues are favorite music genres. In fact, our mascot barks out a tune when a good song is heard.
  • At parties, our mascot has a howling good time!
  • Our mascot makes no bones about being a “people” pup and adores our staff, our clients and third party experts.

SocialEngine Mascot

Adorable, right? We can’t wait to see what name wins!

Here are the rules of the contest:

  • We will only accept family friendly names. (No profanity or adult-themed submissions please)
  • Submission form must be filled in completely.
  • Email address must be valid in order to claim the prize.
  • His first name should start with “S” and last name “E” in order to have initials of S.E.
  • You agree that by participating in the contest, you release any rights to the name you are submitting.
  • Names cannot be copyrighted or trademarked by other companies; movies; celebrity names; or other publicly known names.
  • SocialEngine staff will choose the best name from the qualified entries submitted.
  • Winner and runners up will be notified by email and posted in a blog announcement. By entering our contest, entrants agree to receive emails from SocialEngine and third party experts in regards to the contest.
  • In the event that two or more people submit the same first and last names, winner will be chosen at random by a drawing of names.
  • Winner must respond to the winning notification email within 14 days to receive the prize or it will be forfeit. **SocialEngine assumes no responsibility for email transmission reliability. It is the winner’s responsibility to get back in touch with SocialEngine in order to claim the prize.
  • Prizes cannot be exchanged for cash. Licenses cannot be resold. Licenses cannot be transferred once claimed.
  • One entry per person.
  • In the event that no suitable name is submitted, winners and runners up will be drawn at random from those with qualified entries.
  • Contest void where prohibited by law.
  • Contest entrants must be above legal age for their location in order to participate. It is the contest entrant’s responsibility to check laws in their location.

Prizes

Grand Prize:

Prizes for Five Runners Up:

  • Five runners up will receive a 35% discount to purchase a SocialEngine license.
  • $20 discount on one theme of your choice from Pixythemes.
  • 30% off discount for any plugins from Racodes.
  • Choice of 50% off of one plugin from SocialEngine Mobi.
  • 20% off any plugins from Hire-Experts LLC.
  • Any two plugins for 50% off from SocialEngineSolutions.
  • 50% off all Plugins and Mobile Apps from SocialEngineAddOns.
  • 50% discount off any plugin or theme purchase from Webhive.

We want to thank all of the wonderful experts who have contributed prizes for our contest. As a bonus, SocialEngineSolutions has offered a 30% discount off for five of their plugins; Pixythemes has offered $10 off any theme; and SocialEngineAddOns has offered a 15% discount on the next order to anyone submitting a qualifying entry.

Submit your entries here from now until July 5, 2017. Winner will be announced on July 7, 2017. Runner up prizes will also be awarded. Good luck!

Sincerely,

The SocialEngine Team and Mascot

Posted in Company Updates | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

New SocialEngine Community Forum Coming Soon!

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Hello!

We are super excited to announce that we’ve been working on something great for our clients and experts. After much feedback, we’ve decided to change our founder’s community to use SEPHP as it’s geared towards a forum and can allow us to offer more communication opportunities for everyone.

Our SECloud product is an awesome product for “Reddit” news aggregation niches, Twitter-esque networks, and many other types of communities. However, for our own needs, we need the features that SEPHP offers in the forum plugin, poll plugin and others. As such, our community will change. The current community will be kept as a read-only archive in order to preserve all of the wonderful content that everyone has contributed. We anticipate our new community to open near the end of June.

The new community forum will allow experts to post in an expert-only area so they can get coding help, provide expert feedback about things directly related to their needs, etc. It will have a member only section for posting bugs and feature requests – moving us away from Github where clients have mentioned a few times that they felt it was disconnected and it forced them to sign up for an external site. Some were not comfortable signing up and posting there. Moving it “in-house” seems best for everyone.

The new forum will be public for now. This will allow our “trial” clients to be able to post, as well as others that might have questions or tips to offer. We will also have a private client’s only section that will be monitored by staff.

You’ll need to join the new forum as we decided not to import users. We encourage you to set your privacy settings how you want them when you join. Please make sure you select the correct profile type and member level when joining so you have access to the forums you need. You’ll see subscriptions on the signup page. All subscriptions are free. We just need to ensure everyone is able to get access to areas they need and also it helps prevent spam.

Thank you for all of your feedback regarding the community and for helping make this new community a vibrant network for everyone.

With much appreciation,

The SocialEngine Team

Posted in Company Updates | 13 Comments

Building A Better Branded Community: Top 4 Tips

bannerThe digital age offers deeper connections between companies and consumers. Social media platforms opened the communication lines, and branded community establishment fortifies relationships. Branded communities are appealing to informed consumers who want to feel further alignment with a company or organization. Companies hosting branded communities benefit through deeper customer insight and prospect conversion. Here are the top 4 tips to building and maintaining a better branded community:

Truly Know Your Audience

To target your branded community audience, it is important to truly understand your company’s role in their life. While your mission and company pride are important, it is not enough to merely know that you value your product or cause. You must also know why your audience values your product or cause. Address your audience members in a way that is meaningful to them. Speak to them regarding issues that matter to them, and how your product or cause aligns with their lifestyles.

Engage With Questions AND Statements

Avoid only addressing your audience in announcement fashion. Be part of the conversation to add depth and further dialogue.  You should certainly answer questions as they arise, but also take time to respond to statements with additional insight, ask questions back, and keep the discussion going!

Uplift Your Advocates

You will easily identify the advocates within your branded community. These members are invaluable to your company—make sure they feel important. As in any relationship, actions are an effective way to convey your feelings. Show appreciation for your advocates through @mentions, shares, incentives, and messages! A happy advocate is a continued advocate.

A Community Is Not A Commercial

Your community will value new information from your company, but they could get that from your Facebook, Twitter, and banner ads. Information to your branded community should add depth to your company’s value and relevance. Search for positive blog posts and articles referencing your brand, and share this information to offer additional perspectives along with news and updates.

Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to read up on how you can effectively build your community. Let us know if you have any questions! Also, if you have any ideas on how to start your own social network, our SocialEngine software can help you get there. Check out our free trial and see what SocialEngine can do for you.

Posted in Tips and Tutorials | 1 Comment

Gamification: the secret sauce behind wildly successful branded social communities

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Can you remember swelling with pride on seeing a “well done” sticker on an elementary school book report? Take a moment to recall how it feels (or how you imagine it would feel) when you receive a new belt in karate class from a sensei you deeply admire or your boss surprises you with a “waiter of the month” plaque after tallying up the latest round of diner response cards.

All of the above are forms of gamification. And each can be incredibly effective in generating  behaviors you want to see more of.

Using smart strategies to gamify participation in your branded social community is a no-brainer. For little or no outlay, you can earn more interaction, more social shares, more click-throughs, and ultimately, more money.

When designing your gamification strategy, it is important to understand the basic drivers that make it so effective. Once you’ve identified those drivers, it is simply a matter of customizing them to suit your particular niche.

Respect

Human beings are hard-wired to desire and derive pleasure from feeling respected, both by peers/colleagues and especially those they perceive to be in positions of power. Posts or personal emails from community leaders whose names users will instantly recognize are a good start. When a user reaches a certain number of posts, shares, or other criteria important to you, ensure that the whole community hears about it. Not only will that particular user feel respected, it will also generate desire among other members to work toward seeing a similar post with their name appearing prominently.

Recognition

Intangible but effective, customized titles or special designations for outstanding community members pack a lot of punch. Perhaps a halo appears on the avatar of community members who have donated to your nonprofit. Maybe a special graphic (e.g., a star with your company’s name ) becomes available for users to append to their sigs when they create a particularly popular post or one that has content you want to see more of. The idea make use a visible moniker to identify community members who contribute positively to your community.

Rewards

Psychologists have known for a very long time that rewards are incredibly powerful motivators. Intangible rewards can work wonders, as can more tangible goodies such as discounts on site merchandise or access to protected forums only available to a select few.

Gamifying your branded social community can unlock some pretty amazing rewards for you as a site owner. Get started today to discover it for yourself!

Posted in Tips and Tutorials | 1 Comment

3 Community Management Tips For Smooth Sailing

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In the age of the Internet, it’s now possible for us to reach out to communities of like-minded people from anywhere in the world. Whatever our interests, there are groups out there of people who share those interests, and all it takes to find them is the push of a button. However, keeping those communities safe, sane, and growing takes work. If you’re a community manager, make life easy on yourself by following these simple tips.

Tip #1: Make The Rules Fair, And Easy To Find

Every community has rules, and those rules need to be easy to find, fair to all, and applied equally across the community. As a manager, make sure everyone knows where the rules are, and ensure everyone looks at them. Additionally, when you make a ruling on someone’s behavior, point out which rule it has violated. That way people know not only that they did something wrong, but specifically what it was.

Tip #2: Listen To Feedback

Communities exist for the benefit of the members, and if something is happening that they don’t like it’s possible they’ll go elsewhere. If you want to keep your membership growing, then listen to the problems people are having, and address them accordingly. If people feel they are being listened to, and that there’s a dialogue going on, they’re much more likely to stick around. And to invite their friends to come join.

Tip #3: Don’t Scrutinize Every, Little Detail

Moderators and managers shouldn’t be like Big Brother, constantly digging into every post and conversation that happens. Let conversations happen, and give users a chance to handle things themselves. Also, let users come to you when something has grown too big to be handled. Don’t be totally hands off, but don’t turn into a disapproving school teacher threatening detention for every off-color remark that comes from the back of the classroom.

Posted in Tips and Tutorials | Leave a comment

SocialEngine Announces Anti-Piracy Commitment

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Good day!

We hope your spring has been beautiful thus far! Here at SocialEngine, we’ve been busy with some key improvements to our policies and websites. One such improvement is our commitment to fighting piracy.

Piracy, for those that are not familiar, is the illegal sharing of products – mainly digital in nature. Our product is a licensed, paid product and the fees from licenses and license renewals (when applicable) go towards helping us continue to develop our platform. Piracy is responsible for removing a substantial amount from our revenue stream which slows down our ability to give you all the new features and updates that everyone wants. As such, we are taking a much stronger stand against illegal use and distribution of our product.

In our investigations, we’ve also seen the products of experts from our marketplace being shared and distributed on various pirate sites and many people participating in sharing of those products. In an effort to protect the valued experts in our community, part of our anti-piracy efforts will also involve those products whether they are paid or free.

Our TOS (Terms of Service) is being updated to include our efforts to fight illegal distribution or use of our products and those of experts in our marketplace. We will be actively sending DMCA orders, removing access to our marketplace and community, and pursuing other legal avenues for anyone that we discover is partaking in piracy after thorough investigations are performed. We’ve also updated our Marketplace TOS. Please read all of our documents in order to be aware of the new policies.

We have created a new tool for checking whether a URL has a valid license. It will only give a true or false result and will not give out any client information. Should there be a site with an invalid license, the tool will allow submitting that URL to our Piracy Department. This tool will help any of you to assist in our fight against piracy. You can also contact our Piracy Department to send info about piracy activities via our Contact Us page.

We appreciate your efforts to help us stomp out piracy!

Posted in Company Updates | Tagged , | 2 Comments