If you’re looking for a robust, integrated and “enticing” social network, with excellent customer service SocialGo is a platform worth considering. If there is something that’s not on this social network, they are probably adding it or it’s on the list to be added. I first thought it was Ning on steroids but after trying it out I thought it was much a lot more user friendly than Ning – and had a lot more going for it. You can be the judge.
With SocialGo you not only can create a great social network you can actually create an entire website around your social network, complete with customisable themes, chat, video Instant messaging and a whole host of widgets that leave you drooling. The chat widget is just in beta, but it’s coming.
Here is a quick overview of what you get with SocialGo and the things that really struck a chord with me.
Go IM – we mentioned this above you just install it from the Widget Store. Facebook Connect and Twitter Connect are available and you can import your Twitter status easily.
Visitor Radar – you can track visitors profiles and members can see who’s visited. Rather neat.
Lab Tunes – from which you can play music.
Games and more games members can play… also customizable. Given the popularity of Farmville, the use of social games in a network can’t be ignored.
Network Design – For those of us who are too busy to design our own networks – no worries. SocialGo does it all for you (yep, so you don’t have to). At $349.00 you get the SocialGo designers to design your own unique site and network. Or you can go directly to one of their 3rd party designers. And some of the designs are pretty darn coo – not that the pre-set templates are anything to.
Blogs and Forums
Easy to start both. You simply import your blog’s feed and you’re set or integrate your blog so it’s part of your SocialGo Site.
You can also run your own ads, use your own domain and include Audio, video and text chat.
What about making money?
There’s a member billing option (purchasable from the widget store), which means you can charge members subscription fees if you want.
You can remove all traces of SocialGo from your network should you wish, there’s a member option for that – plus you can create a public or private network and your network can also create their own networks.
Everything can be set up from your admin panel and really, you’re limited only by your own creativity. The interesting thing about SocialGo is that you can use it for any type of network, from a keep in touch with family community site to a fully fledged business network and shop.
There’s a free 30 day trial – which I took – which enables you to try out the features however to really see and access most of the cool features. The paid subscriptions start from around $40/month. With the Concierge version, if you’re really pressed for time, or don’t want the hassle of maintaining your network SG will manage your site for you on a monthly basis.
If I sound quite enthusiastic about SocialGo, it’s because I think in terms of social networking platforms it has nearly everything one might need to get up and running in minutes. It even has Wordpress integration – a must-have as far as I am concerned.
In terms of ease of use and customizing it to your tastes it is very hard to beat (at least of the ones I have looked at). All this does come at a price – albeit quite a decent price. You’ll need to purchase most of the add-ons from the widget store. The billing component for example costs around $99. You also can’t upload files such as PDF’s so you need to link to those in the usual way. You can also buy themes from $39 if you don’t care for the free themes.
I think it’s a good idea to provide the basic framework while the individual add-ons are optional and can be purchased from the Widget store.
There’s a Free Trial
As with anything, my advice is to check it out yourself with the free trial. These are my personal thoughts (I’m not getting any reward for writing this). They also hold workshops for network owners and a very helpful monthly newsletter plus their their customer service is great – when I had questions I could chat online with them and someone even offered to call me back.
The key thing about having a social network is how you can make it truly social and the business model you adopt.That will differ for each user, If you’re tired of Facebook and other hosted networks and want to create something uniquely your own with a rich multimedia experience - without it costing you your first-born – SocialGo is a worthy consideration. They make it easy… you can have all your social media collateral and social network all in one place in record time. Worth a look. I found a few examples of SocialGo Communities – most were private but Trikepilot is a great one for showing something of what’s possible. Of course yours will be different but it’s always good to see what others have done.