Social webites, also known as social publishing platforms, are becoming more and more popular especially with companies, groups, and organizations that want to create a place to exchange information on a specific or niche topic. A social and/or community site is a type of website with pages that anyone can edit and contribute to, including text, photos, videos, polls, and groups. In a previous post I discussed creating a social network with Ning, Qlubb, and Teamr today’s post is about Wetpaint, a social site that is a lot like the previously discussed sites but with a couple of added features.
Social websites are ideal for groups of people [and/or businesses] who are connected by a common interest, [topic, or goal] and need to collaborate. Instead of sending email back and forth, a social website can be used to centralize the knowledge of a group. Because the social website can be edited by anyone with the proper permissions, you can keep everyone in your group up-to-date and actively involved.
Wetpaint was created to mix all the best features of wikis, blogs, forums and social networks into a rich, user-generated community based around your interests, company, and/or break out topics. The site is free, if you keep it on their network. They have a range of categories that you can list your site in, which can be a great way to supplement a blog or website by increasing your search engine optimization, and exposing you to a highly trafficked network.
The two added features that Wetpaint offers are their attached and Injected products. The attached is a standalone site with a custom URL, their biggest client for this seems to be the larger corporations and the entertainment industry. The injected application gives you the ability to pull the community or Wiki into your website or blog allowing you to build your URL instead of Wetpaint’s.
Major media, consumer, and technology brands that are seeking a turnkey service to engage their users in a meaningful way are partnering with Wetpaint to create custom hosted online communities. Their service includes a setup fee to handle all aspects of your site implementation (including design, editorial, moderation, and priority support). The ongoing SaaS fee structure is based on the amount of traffic and/or revenue that is generated from the use of their product, you must contact them for details.
With Wetpaint Injected content is integrated directly into your server’s webpages, so your website receives full traffic credit for the content from the search engines. You get all this simply by adding a few lines of server-side code to your website.
Wetpaint Injected is free to use for up to 15,000 pageviews per month with limited support. Sites using Injected that exceed this pageview threshold are eligible for participation in their partner program. The partner program is available at different sizes and costs to meet the needs of your site, you must contact them for details.
Include a Wiki or add a Community to your site
I see some definite benefits to this type of site, it is graphically more appealing than a typical wiki, it can easily be integrated into an existing site, and with the free component it is an economical tool that can be used to supplement your current online pursuits.
If you are a wordpress user there are a couple of plugins that you can use to integrate forums into your blog and/or website, if you do not want to go this route. BBPress, Simple:Press, Simple Machines, WP Forum, MiniBB, PunBB.