I am very interested in your insight on whether to go private or public.
My thoughts on the matter are as follows : Obviously depends on network objectives.
My network objectives are as follows: niche entertainment platform within a defined country location.
I want my network to be the destination for entertainment bloggers, entertainment business community and people interested in entertainment within my location, I intend on having great content and featuring some great bloggers within the industry.
My revenue model is based on selling ad space to local entertainment retailers. The sell is that i will develop a localised following. So the real question i am asking is, HOW DO I ACHIEVE THIS? :)
Private - exclusivity with invites only - take longer to grow my community and always at risk of a competitor developing a public community with quicker growth. Plus the added expense of getting people to know about my private site. Don't think this is correct option, as I do also want to accrue revenue from advertisers, which will want serious analytics.
I can't help but look at the FB model, private and wow what a job they have done.
Another disadvantage I have is that when a link or 'like' is shared, it will never link directly to the article, or blog intended, as this is a private network and will always link to the sign up page.
Summary –advantages – stronger bond within the community and sense of exclusivity.
-disadvantages – less revenue (unless my network becomes a fb), cannot truly harness the full potential of the social media tools, example facebook integration.
Public - 2 options 1) display main page 2) totally open.
1) Display Main Page – this seems very appealing to me, I can promote my main page and entice potential members to sign up.
Advantages- stronger bond within the community and sense of exclusivity.
Opportunity for members to have a peek at main page before sign up. So if my content looks good I should achieve high membership.
Higher membership sits well with advertisers, I would try convince them that this is more important than site views, a more engaging environment.
Disadvantages – Again not being able to harness full social media integration as it remains semi-private, links won’t take you to particular blog, but only to main page.
PLEASE CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG HERE ABOUT THE INTEGRATION, VERY NB FOR ME.
2) TOTALLY OPEN – This does scare me a little, as every page is viewed by unknowns.
Advantages – larger audience and probably an easier sell to advertisers.
Disadvantages- I fear that then there is no need to become a member, higher page views but less membership (Is this a bad thing?). I also do not fully understand whether every member will be indexed by google etc. I want real people on board, no nicknames, in saying that, protecting them from everything they say being indexed is nb!! Will have to work out how to manage this. Very open to suggestions:)
In summary it is all about what a NC is trying to achieve, I would love to know from a few tried and tested networks,learn from their pains or joys from the choices they have made.
Thanks for listening