- It's easy to use. The admin panel has a number of drag and drop options to modify the experience
- Flexibility. There are a large number of standard block features that can be added to areas. In addition, each dynamic block as a number of settings that allow you to tailor the experience you want to create. You can do this without being a programmer.
- Personalization. There are good tools that allow you to personalize the experience based on whether users are logged in or not, whether they are in particular segments (which we can create) or recommendations based on information the user has provided about themselves.
- Mobile. Small World Labs has a really great way of doing mobile. They give you a drag and drop interface for designing the mobile environment so there is a lot of flexibility with this. We are currently turning this module on.
- If I were to nitpick, I'd say that you have to pay attention. Small World Labs adds new features monthly so you need to keep up to speed with what is available or you won't add something you have access to. I get updates on new features and can read about them in their client community, but you do need to pay attention.
- The specific details are proprietary to our organization, but we've seen an increase in membership retention and in online applications for membership.
- Our community has been very active, which has increased the overall activity across our web properties substantially in terms of vists, page views, and time on site.
It's been a great product to use and a great organization to work with. The people are accessible and interested in helping.
It's a great overall product and organization. In my opinion, the people at an organization are just as important, or more important, than the product (but I'm in the membership business). The Small World Labs team takes an interest in our success and it shows.
3 - Membership and marketing
2 - We have two people internally that monitor what is happening and coordinate with out top users and volunteers.
- Increase engagement between our organization and our members
- Increase engagement and communication between our members
- Increase the retention rate of our members (by being more involved and more satisfied)
- Increase member acquisition (via requests for membership)
- To keep our member base informed about what we are doing and what our members are doing
Evaluation and Selection
We were using a forums platform before.
We evaluated a few different community platform vendors over the course of a couple of months. I believe we also evaluated Jive, Lithium, KickApps, and Powered.
We had staff turnover at our own organization during the implementation. We were able to get the community up and live in a good timeframe even though that happened and we had to switch some people around for managing the project on our side.
- Vendor implemented
- Online training
- In-person training
In-person training is more ad-hoc based on if they are traveling to you or you are going to visit them. I imagine that if I paid for in-person training that it would be set up as well, but I've just used the standard training that comes with the initial set up and ongoing support.
Online training is through online webinar & how-to posts and videos in the client community.
There is a lot to learn about the product. If you are a very product-oriented person you could just click through the various areas and options to figure it out, but I'd recommend using the resources they provide.
The configuration is via point and click tools so why not use it?
The people at Small World Labs are very accessible. I can email, open a ticket, or call and they are there. I'd also point out that senior management is quite available too. We frequently have talks about potential strategies and new things we might be doing, which is great. I think the whole organization genuinely likes what they do and likes helping us succeed.
Yes - Product support comes free with monthly fee, which includes hosting, updates, technical support, and account management through phone or email. We've also used the Community Engagement Services. When we use them, we always see an uptick in engagement and activity.
Uptime has never been an issue.
Speed is not an issue.
- We are looking at integrating Small World Labs with our member management database
Yes, we've talked with them about this.
The people are great to work with. I mentioned before that they seem to really enjoy what they do and take an interest in making sure we are successful.