Looking to decide whether to buy an off the shelf association / community management tool vs. building one ourselves. (This idea came up in my previous thread
, but I started a new one for clarity).
We're run a global platform for startups focused on the aging market (www.aging2.com) and have just created a new paid membership program for corporates (and eventually individuals) that provides them benefits (profiles & customer directory, online & offline networking/ events, webinars, forums, event and merchandise discounts, content/ white papers etc) in return for an annual membership fee - essentially an association model - more info at: www.aging2.com/alliance.
Our preference is to use an off the shelf solution rather than reinvent the wheel (i doubt that our needs are particularly different from other communities) so would like to know if people have experience with our shortlist - or can recommend other software vendors. The two that we like the most are socious.com and bravenewtalent.com. Other names that have come up, though seem more expensive include: jive and lithium.
So final thought - has anybody here had experience with socious or bravenewtalent or other competing association management solutions or community management tools, or have opinions about whether it's better to use an external community management tools vs. going through actually building one ourselves (we don't have an in house tech team at this stage).