|By John Ryan||
|September 12, 2009 04:30 PM EDT||
My original post in late June was based on two weeks of using Ulitzer and Ning. I've added additional thoughts after two months of use.
The obvious point for me is that the sites have two different objectives for the writers. For Ning, the writer is trying to be involved in a niche social network from scratch. For example, I have built my own social network for marketers and salespeople called BuyerSteps. I created BuyerSteps as a way for other professionals to join in a conversation around the 21st century buyer. So, Ning represents a way to build a community.
In the case of Ulitzer, as a writer I am focused on getting readers from within an existing audience. There are already thousands of readers coming to the Ulitzer site, so if they are interested in my topics such as marketing, they will find my articles as well as others. Ulitzer allows the writer the ability to set up a feed coming from another site, so it can be a write once, publish twice strategy. You just have to give Ulitzer a few hours to upload a new article you wrote on a different site. You still have to go back into that article even after it has been posted and assign it to topics and tags. This is part of the administration of your stories which is under the manage stories menu.
Ning allows you to very easily construct the framework for a community for free with Lego-like ease of use. You can easily blog, post presentations, videos, photos, invite friends, contribute to forums and manage your experience. As the website's administrator, you can restrict certain people who don't fit your profile and set it up so that you must approve all blog posts. What amazes me the most is how easy it is to add videos and additional boxes for almost any kind of content. The site is very web-smart from an application standpoint.
What I have also done is added a widget from Twitter and LinkedIn's Question and Answer section. In a very short period of time, you can have a robust set of capabilities up and running for all of your members. You do have to be careful though as you can put too much on the front page which may slow down load time and discourage users.
Using premium services that are offered, Ning allows you to turn off Adwords for $24.95 a month as well as rename the site to whatever URL you want for $4.95 a month which I do. The website administrator can also remove the Ning promotion link for $24.95 a month. Until you have thousands of users, there is little financial reason to spend another $50 a month to turn off Adwords and the Ning promotion link.
Ning also makes it easy for you to have Google Analytics track your website. Ning has over 150 applications that the user can add to their experience with the largest group being games. Ning also makes it easy to get verification code from Google so you can verify your website. It's under the Manage/Special Options menu.
You can also define your user profile questions and modify the site's appearance. As a community tool, there's not much to complain about on Ning except that the administrator needs to work at building their own audience. Just like Twitter, unless the community builder already has a large following and presence from an outside source, it will take patience and discipline to get your thoughts in front of a lot of people. Ning also allows you to turn interested members away and set it up so that the administrator has to approve every blog and comment. I personally like this feature since BuyerSteps is focused on professionals, not raw traffic. Since we're not focused on high traffic, but quality, it's better that I can turn them away.
According to Quantcast, 7.3 million U.S. users a month go to Ning which certainly speaks to the needs of the long tail of community. Any small business or affinity group that wants to build a community site without spending a large amount of time or money can be using the Ning platform for free in less than an hour.
This is a terrific site for tapping into existing readers. Ulitzer doesn't force me to drive users to the site since the core value of the site is that many authors are contributing. The core value of the site is not to build a social network, but to provide pithy content to an information-hungry audience which at this point seems pretty technology-based. In just over ten days, I had thousands of readers of my articles mainly on marketing and sales. It would be nearly impossible to get that at Ning in ten days for a new community site. Ulitzer also tweets my stories to Twitter without my participation which has created hundreds of Retweets for me in the last two months.
The site's functionality is solid for a writer in regard to posting an article and then choosing which topics it should go under. It seems the biggest challenge for Ulitzer will be how they handle editorial control. If I am the editor of a topic, I can edit stories out of a topic but there are so many stories that are newsfeeds, it tends to clutter this area. I wish there were a better way to sort through these with more data like readership.
In the management panel of the experience for the writer, I can edit my story and view my story prior to it being posted. From a pure housekeeping standpoint, I hope they add the ability to delete my story from the management console at some point. Ulitzer doesn't publish the story unless I submit it, but I would still like to take it off of the console. Facts change and it would be great to kill a story if the writer could. For instance, I started one story and decided not to publish it because I changed my mind. That story is still sitting in the management console because I can't delete it.
What I really like about Ulitzer are the internal analytics. I can see which of my articles is getting the most views. Not only does it make me feel good when I see the number, it allows me to do research my own articles in regard to what the readers like. This helps guide the writer for future articles which is good insight.
I think the author description area is feature-rich. It makes it easy for the author to describe themselves, add a bio and choose tags for their stories. You can also pick your favorite topics and submit your stories to those topics to help readers find them. Finally, you can add your Google Adsense number if you want to make Adsense revenue, but I find this business proposition less than compelling.
If one of your goals is to get found through the search engines, it appears Ulitzer has a better case than Ning based on my limited analysis. When I searched for a few of my articles using a few words out of the title, it was Ulitzer and its group of publications that presented the same articles I had placed on Ning. So if exposure and the ability to be found is important to you, Ulitzer seems to be the superior site.
Ulitzer is early in its growing usage and doesn't see anywhere near the overall traffic that Ning does. But don't let that fool you. Ning is more fragmented in its audience, while Ulitzer is a site that is promoting your writings to its general audience. If you have just decided to start writing and are looking to grow as a writer while Ulitzer's audience grows, this is a good place to post your articles. It should be pointed out that writing on Ulitzer is free once you are approved. I think Ulitzer is on to something and as a contributing writer, I hope it can continue to grow. The one thing about Ulitzer which fascinates me is how easy it is to post content. After wrestling with Word documents in other content management systems, Ulitzer is a breath of fresh air in its ease of posting new content with links and charts.
My bottom line
Use both if you want to build your own community. However, Ulitzer is a must for a newer writer or analyst. If you write at all, take advantage of their audience. I plan on continuing to use both in my social media strategy. One is for community while the other is for broader audience. In my world, they happily coexist.
What a difference a year makes. Organizations aren’t just talking about IoT possibilities, it is now baked into their core business strategy. With IoT, billions of devices generating data from different companies on different networks around the globe need to interact. From efficiency to better customer insights to completely new business models, IoT will turn traditional business models upside down. In the new customer-centric age, the key to success is delivering critical services and apps wit...
May. 23, 2016 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 325
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty ...
May. 23, 2016 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 4,591
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
May. 23, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 734
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit y...
May. 23, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,781
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
May. 23, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 557
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
May. 23, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,635
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, will provide an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life ...
May. 23, 2016 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,674
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will discuss the vast to...
May. 23, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,316
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu, a leading provider of cloud hosting solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to foc...
May. 23, 2016 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,030
Customer experience has become a competitive differentiator for companies, and it’s imperative that brands seamlessly connect the customer journey across all platforms. With the continued explosion of IoT, join us for a look at how to build a winning digital foundation in the connected era – today and in the future. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Nguyen, Group Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how to successfully leverage mobile, rapidly deploy content, capture real-time d...
May. 23, 2016 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,302
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? How do you coordinate the diverse moving parts that must come together when developing your IoT product? What are the key challenges addressed by Data as a Service? How does cloud computing underlie and connect the notions of Digital and DevOps What is the impact of the API economy? What is the business imperative for Cognitive Computing? Get all these questions and hundreds more like them answered at the 18th Cloud Expo...
May. 23, 2016 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,016
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
May. 23, 2016 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,775
SYS-CON Events announced today that 24Notion has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. 24Notion is full-service global creative digital marketing, technology and lifestyle agency that combines strategic ideas with customized tactical execution. With a broad understand of the art of traditional marketing, new media, communications and social influence, 24Notion uniquely understands how to con...
May. 23, 2016 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,642
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
May. 23, 2016 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,368
The demand for organizations to expand their infrastructure to multiple IT environments like the cloud, on-premise, mobile, bring your own device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow. As this hybrid infrastructure increases, the challenge to monitor the security of these systems increases in volume and complexity. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty, Chief Security Evangelist at Alert Logic, will show how properly configured and managed security architecture can...
May. 23, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,911
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT's direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...
May. 23, 2016 07:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,007
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, will discuss the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to fo...
May. 23, 2016 04:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,338
Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) will feature the upcoming 18th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo in a New York news documentary about the "New IT for the Future." The documentary will cover how big companies are transmitting or adopting the new IT for the future and will be filmed on the expo floor between June 7-June 9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. KBS has long been a leader in the development of the broadcasting culture of Korea. As the key public service broadcaster of Korea...
May. 23, 2016 03:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,663
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
May. 23, 2016 03:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,943
The idea of comparing data in motion (at the sensor level) to data at rest (in a Big Data server warehouse) with predictive analytics in the cloud is very appealing to the industrial IoT sector. The problem Big Data vendors have, however, is access to that data in motion at the sensor location. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Scott Allen, CMO of FreeWave, will discuss how as IoT is increasingly adopted by industrial markets, there is going to be an increased demand for sensor data from the outer...
May. 22, 2016 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,856