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February 3rd, 2009

Community Platforms vs. Community Consultants

Alright, as if there wasn’t enough confusion in the marketplace right now regarding community-building tools, techniques and technicians, we now have the platform makers up-selling ‘community consulting services’ with their wares, and that has left many a company scratching its head and asking…

So, uh, what exactly is the difference between a platform provider’s consulting services, versus, say, an independent consultant’s?

A few months ago, in an effort to help a client of mine find this line and answer this question, I took a crack at a version of the following comparison chart. Was it helpful? Yeah, I think so. Is it exhaustive? Nah, frankly, I think it’s really just scratching the surface of things, but let me know what you think and what your experience has been on either side of the chart here, and maybe it’s something worth iterating further….


About the Author
Mike Manuel is the GM of Voce Connect, the social media marketing and web development arm of Voce Communications. In between managing this team and overseeing Voce's digital programs, he'll post a thought or two on mike-manuel.com and via @mmanuel on Twitter.

Filed in Community, Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media

Add Your Comment2 Responses to “Community Platforms vs. Community Consultants”

Mukund Mohan on February 3rd, 2009 at 1:48 am

This seems to indicate CC is a better option for a client than a CPP (your terms). I dont necessarily think its objective, but keeping that aside, typically a company needs people, processes and technology in the “traditional” sense.

There are several CPP like Powered, Mzinga, etc. (I have friends in both companies hence the disclosure) that do will completely manage (including content strategy, moderation and community marketing) your community.

The reason you have to put this post together is thanks to the downturn, every company is looking for any and all $ (software, services, education, etc.) Otherwise its as simple as the difference between a product company and a services company. Product companies differentiate by their “features” and services companies by their “customer experiences”.

Mike Manuel on February 3rd, 2009 at 10:35 am

hey mukund, yeah, i just think the market for community platforms and services is maturing (and growing), and because of that growth, lines inevitably begin to blur. the real interesting part of this story/comparison that i’m not talking about here is the platform development capabilities of the community consultants — platforms like Ning, Elgg, WordPress, etc., that break the traditional product vs service models. maybe for another post…