Community Leadership Summit Wiki

Free (or cheap) tools for managing communities (other than Facebook)

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c #license:CC-by-nc-nd-3.0 Reasons to not use Facebook (or other hosted portals):*You are the product

  • no control over data
  • data is not exportable
  • what happens when the hosted portal disappears
  • during down periods, the community may not want to pay for service
  • having a centralized location for the communty separates it from "social media" in general
 The Communtiy Toolchain (types):*Telephone and phone trees
  • Emai
  • Social Media
  • Forums
  • Mailing Lists
  • Calendar
  • Wikis
  • Chat/Instant Messaging
 Open Source Options:*Buddypress
  • Mailing Lists
  • Melange: mentoring/training for Google Summer of Code
  • Drupal (Lightswitch)
  • Oxwall (
  • Groupserver
  • Mailman
  • Mediawiki
  • Calagator (aggregates calendars from other sites) (also see
  • EtherPad
  • Tiki Wiki CMS Groupware
 Proprietary (free) solutions (free is sometimes not free)*Yahoo Groups
  • Facebook
  • Google Groups - Good Searching, Stable URLs,
  • Google Hangout (small-scale conversations)
  • Google Calendar
  • Linked In
  • Flowdock
  • Twitter chats
  • Ning
  • Hootsuite
  • Skype
  • Google+ Hangouts
  • Google Talk
  • Nation Builder (out of the box community management)
  • Sharepoint
Collections of tools:*
 Problem Points in Managing Community*Managing Multiple channels of communication (community infrastructure) (Mailing lists, irc, contact forms, blogs, forums, knowledge base)
  • combining tools (e.g. Wiki + forum, or Forum + email notifications, or Wiki comment + notification) helps control infromation overload
  • Scaling communty
  • Empowering members of the community to multiply your own forces by giving support to your most active users
  • you have to "leave the room" so that your super users can regulate the community on their own
  • Does the community define itself or is it defined by the tools used (or corporate control of the tools)
  • Have strategies for building community that doesn't rely on tools
  • If you take care of all the easy stuff for the community, there's nothing for new community members to do
 When Choosing Tools, Consider:*Events
  • ongoing communities.
  • Code camps
  • Different user's technological abilities
  • Different sized communities
(keep an eye out for OpenCloudConf coming up this next year where many of these tools will be discussed)

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