DotNetNuke unveils new social platform

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DotNetNuke is bringing the social features of popular networking sites in house to company websites.

In its new DNN Social solution, the open source company blends social solutions, like discussion boards and blog posts, with content management on company sites.

"There is no better place to monitor customer behavior and engage with them than on a company's website," the company's president and CEO, Navin Nagiah, said in the Social announcement.

The question and answer platform looks like that of many message boards. It allows users to post discussion questions and the posts can be reviewed by the company, or by what DotNetNuke calls "site managers," before they go live for everyone to see. Along with the company, other users can comment on questions too, and the questions and comments can be "liked," a la Facebook (NASDAQ: FB).

In this effort to become more social, DotNetNuke seems to be emphasizing that what differentiates its solution from other social solutions is that it brings the content and community together in one place, instead of "siloing" them. They call it a "one-stop-shop for learning and engaging."

The company said DNN Social aims to increase customer engagement on the platforms, through reputation points, etc. that are based on things such as how much a user contributes. It also provides data analytics on customer and community engagement.

One feature that stands out to me is the ability of customers to submit "ideas." They are set up like the discussions, and other users--customers or members of the company--can comment on them as well.

It's a fresh way to submit ideas or feedback, because unlike in a survey or email, a client can see how his or her suggestion is received out in the open. From a client perspective, if a lot of other people like the idea, and say so on an idea discussion thread, that could help it get implemented, or help it get implemented more quickly.

This idea forum, along with the question and answer forum, seems like a way to bring increased accountability and clarity to customer support. So, if customers are happy and their questions are quickly answered, it will show. On the other hand, if they aren't, that will show that too. 

Ultimately, I think that could also depend on how much such boards are monitored or edited by company site managers. That level of editing control is one danger of such an integrated platform, but a necessary one all the same.

For more:
- see the DNN Social announcement

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