By Andrew Ballenthin
Over the past 18 months there's been a revolution in template driven integrated blogs, websites, and online communities. This year I've decided its time for a change despite having had a phenomenal 18 month run with this blog. I've learned that TypePad is the least friendly and advanced site for site Content Management Systems; they are up to 18 months behind providing functionality that WordPress, SquareSpace, and Ning offer in my view. I have a list of needs for our new integrated website, blog, and community and would like your opinion on why gets it right.
Your Opinion - Who's Going To Get It Right?I'd like your opinion on who you think is going to get it right over the next 2 years (based on their track record of innovation, adaptation, keeping pace, platform stability, negligible downtown and bugs, security, etc). Will WordPress continue to lead? I hear rumblings that Drupal is the real platform killer as they've come to do some phenomenal integration of technology modules, but they still require programmers to do a large amount of customization. Does anyone have a good experience with SquareSpace?
Will They Match These Needs?
My business is looking for an integrated website, blog, and community built on a leading edge template that will require nil third party programmer customization. Here's some of the criteria for what the next version of Community Marketing Blog will evolve to:
- Maximum content editing ability for all aspects with nil coding requirements
- Leading edge video, photo-gallery and presentation ability
- SEO optimization that maximizes organic page content
- Email capture and landing page capability with registration form ability
- Advanced user social media and bookmark sharing, with leading edge upgrade ability
- Blog capability, including blog link push to Twitter, FaceBook, Buzz, etc.
- Multiple author profiles capability, and author profile header per blog post
- Visitor profile creation, and ability to create blogs and forums by visitors
- Visitor ability to invite friends to join the community from their profile
- Smartphone compatible
What template and site platforms do you think can deliver on most of the above? Over the next 3 years businesses need to merge their website, social content and their own communities together to create what I call "assets". This convergence is critical for monetizing social media and creating a pipeline flow that enables community members to build a relationship with a brand based on value of their content, and the brand to naturally make its services available to its target market.
Share Your Thoughts And Experience Below
Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below. Outright sales solicitations will be deleted, helpful industry insight from practicing experts is appreciated. Thank you for your input!