Social Platform launches community-building software

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Social Platform LLC on Dec. 11 announced the availability of its flagship offering, Social Platform Enterprise, a brandable application that provides companies the infrastructure and software necessary for turning their existing Web sites into social hubs.

Social Platform Enterprise lets companies build and maintain customized social networks, with a menu of options including RSS feeds, Wikis, forums, member profiles, galleries, content management, e-commerce functionality, instant messenger, SKYPE and Web conferencing integration. Social Platform also boasts the ability to integrate third party systems allowing for features that they do not provide in-house to be added to a company's network.

"It all starts at community," said Eric Schlissel, president/CEO of Social Platform, Los Angeles. "Companies need to allow community members to share and brag in order to be successful."

In fact one of the most compelling features of the software is a point system that rewards people for getting more involved with the community. This can be used with loyalty programs, prize giveaways, community member status or authentication to view certain exclusive materials.

"Community has to be built from within the company, if just the marketing department develops it will not reflect the company," Mr. Schlissel said. "Users do not want to be a part of a community that is overtly commercial."

That being said, the software does offer a number of relevant features that are handy for marketers. In addition to being able to plug-in to third party software, Social Platform can drop data into a company's internal database management system, keeping e-mail lists and relevant customer profiling data collected from any social networking venture organized and linked with other customer data.

Another unique feature for marketers is the ability to set the post date on blog posts, allowing for the Web site to be constantly refreshed throughout a week but only requiring the content input time of one day.

Social Platform has already begun working with a number of clients including the National Chemical Society, a lobbying nonprofit as well as a large software company, which uses it for internal human resource management. In addition the company worked with Omotion, a collection of promotional Web sites and street teams for musicians such as Madonna and Brendan James.

Next year Social Platform has plans to launch e-commerce systems, instant messaging features and a survey system to add to its current offering. Often the client requests a new feature that the technology company then develops and adds to its standard menu, Mr. Schlissel said.

"We're trying to reach into a number of different markets out there," he said. "We're really just targeting anyone who's looking for community."

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