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GROU.PS: Establish Your Own Social Network

UPDATE: It appears that significant reports of issues have been reported for GROU.PS. Thanks to one of our readers for bringing it to my attention.

If you’re looking to launch your own niche social network for customers or a specific community, your options are to spend a lot of money on development or you could utilize any number of social network platforms that are already on the market. You can download and install an open source social networking platform Lovd By Less or Elgg, or you can use hosted solutions like Ning, Spruz, Social GO or GROU.PS.

GROU.PS is a social groupware platform that allows people to come together and form interactive communities around a shared interest or affiliation. The functionality of any online group is limited only by the members’ collective imagination and ambition. The GROU.PS platform is used to create a wide variety of community sites, including online gaming forums, e-learning classrooms, fan clubs, charity fundraising campaigns, college alumni societies, and event planning portals.

GROU.PS got quite a bit of press a couple years ago when they built a Ning importer. Ning had moved to a paid model, so GROU.PS developed a simple process to import all the activities and objects from your Ning instance to a new GROU.PS network. GROU.PS has quite a robust featureset.

Features as listed on the GROU.PS Home Page

  • Instant Setup – So easy to use, you’ll be up and running in 5 minutes. Then, you can start inviting people to join your new community right away.
  • 70+ Templates – We have a template for everyone. Customize the look of your group with our user-friendly interface. Or, drill deeper with CSS and full backend access.
  • 15+ Apps – The system is plug and play. Our apps include Forums, Blogs, Wiki, Photos, Videos, Funds, and more. Use just a few that you need, or all of them. It’s up to you.
  • Integrated -Public groups can publish their selected posts and activities directly to Twitter and Facebook to gain maximum exposure and traffic.
  • Public or Private – You can let the whole world view and contribute to your group, or limit access to a select few. Create a privacy blend that works for you.
  • Moderation – You decide who can contribute, create and edit content. Designate your own levels of authorization for your members.
  • Monetization – Prestige isn’t the only reward your group can bring. You can also generate revenue using our tools, or raise money for a cause using our built-in Funds app. Sell tickets, create paid membership programs, etc.
  • API – You’re not limited to just the tools we’ve already built for you. You can use our APIs to access 3rd party tools and add your own customized functionality to suit your group’s unique needs.
  • Fanatic Support – And if you need any help along the way, you can reach us anytime. We’re committed to your success, and we’ll spend as much time as it takes to guarantee your satisfaction.

Plans range from $2.95 per month to $29.95 per month!

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About Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is the founder of The Marketing Technology Blog and recognized MarTech expert. Doug is a Keynote and Marketing Public Speaker. He's the CEO of DK New Media, an agency specializing in assisting marketing technology companies with their inbound marketing - leveraging social media, blogging, search engine optimization, pay per click and public relations. He's assisted SaaS companies like Angie's List, GoDaddy, Salesforce, Webtrends, and SmartFOCUS with their digital marketing and product strategies. Douglas is also the author of Corporate Blogging for Dummies.

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  1. What’s the benefit of creating a separate social network outside of existing established networks? I’ve joined many LinkedIn Groups or Facebook Groups, but never a private social network.

    What is the benefit to marketers to use a separate system?

    • Hi @andrewkkirk:disqus! Most of those existing networks are fairly limited in the options they can provide to your community… remember, their focus is on their own revenue – not your community. If you have a development community, for example, you could have a code repository, video library and a ton of other add-ons that you don’t have accessible in these groups. Outside of business, I run a community at http://www.navyvets.com and the platform allows us to ‘own’ the content, get advertising dollars, and we’re now evolving into a non-profit. I couldn’t accomplish that with a linkedIn group!

  2. The year is 2013. Be carfull with this company when it comes to customer service and billing problems. No phone number in order to service their custors. Let this link speak for itself. Ripoff Report http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/search/grou.ps

  3. Thanks for posting. Will be glad to RT you on twitter:)

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