Setting up a community is a big decision and technology plays a key role in making the community successful. Here are 5 tips to help you choose the right platform.
Open Source vs. Proprietary Solutions
This is probably the biggest question that comes to one’s mind when starting a community. Open source/writing your own application is great because you can have all the features you want. Crisp – nothing less, nothing more. But it can take up a lot of internal resources and choke your IT department, and may require outside expertise as well. Also, the effort will go to waste if the underlying objective of the community changes. For example, If an initial plan of making an open community is changed to making a partially gated community, new security measures will need to be introduced. Enterprise issues around security, integration and customizability remain top concerns in open source platforms. Proprietary solutions offer ‘a lot’ as out of the box functionality, but many a time require specialized skill sets to deploy the community. Also, if you go for proprietary solutions, opt for the one that has robust support.
Tim O’Reilly once said, “It’s all about platform openness and adoption, not base code openness.” Open source or proprietary platforms – it’s the flexibility and the ability (that you need) that matter.