Some Network Creators use third-party apps and widgets on their sites. Maybe you use a few or have tried a few over time. Some are undoubtedly better than others. These toolbars and can help you offer members an alternative to functionality that Ning provides, provide something Ning doesn’t provide, or maybe offer unique ways for your members to connect around your community.
I was doing some research into a few of these, and I am curious what you think about Conduit. It’s a toolbar that you can customize and offer to your community as a way to extend the reach of your site or just keep your core members more connected. I want to get some feedback from people here on Creators about what this toolbar is, what it does, and whether or not you think it would be something that would interest you and your members. If you’ve used Conduit before, I’d love to hear your thoughts about it. If you haven’t, I’d still love to hear your thoughts.
What is it, exactly? It’s a toolbar that you can customize for your community. You can add links, RSS feeds, games, gadgets and apps to the toolbar. These can point back to your community, or you might even put affiliate links in them if you think that is something your members would use. The idea is to create an extension of your community that perhaps your most fervent users would want to use. They talk about their toolbar here.
What do you think?
We created a very basic, rudimentary toolbar just to show you a stripped down example you can check out here.
So, what do you think? Is Conduit something that sounds interesting to you and your members?
What's the predetermined ideal, exactly? We've simply asked for open-ended opinions in this discussion. Sometimes, I get the feeling that some people always see a trick or agenda hiding behind everything we post here on Creators. If you read through this discussion, you will see that I readily acknowledge both positive and negative feedback about Conduit. We don't have any predetermined notions about it. That's kind of why we asked.
LOL, tricks and hidden agendas? That never occurred to me. I just figured you get sick of so much negative feedback that it's easy to focus more on what you'd rather hear, than on what you don't want to hear.
Otherwise, one would presume that by taking this much time and energy to explore a third-party community bar it means there is an ideal that it might actually work. That's all I meant by that. It's just a practical assumption and ideal.
That was the only "negative" feedback with a response I could find, too. There may be others...
It is great , I just not all tech good lol and for us right now do not see the need
Thank you. I agree keep it as an option
I would love this! I used wibiya for a while, but it was causing some conflict with the functionality of the site. In particular, I loved it because you could make my facebook fan page updates appear there and scroll through them, and the share options on it. I also loved it because you could customize the colors and icons of it (which is very important to get away from ning's current grey generic chat tool bar color). I would love to see this kind of toolbar on ning!
I've used Conduit before and do not like it. I have had Skysa for over two years and I find it most compatible with what my members want and also their customer service is awesome.
My NING site PINKessence.com has/was a Skysa beta test site since its beginning. Skysa techs frequently accessed our network to test and gain our feed back in developing features like making Youtube, embedding in the chat windows, as well as customizing other features from our direct input.
What I liked about Skysa, was the IM feature.
We have nearly 5k members, and NINGS Chat feature, along with the group feature, is not sufficient in meeting the needs of our users to be able to compartmentalize chat topics.
The NING chat feature needs to be able to create "rooms" for different chat conversations. One general purpose room just doesn't cut it. Additionally, the Groups feature needs to have their own photo albums and a chat room for each group created.
Installing the Skysa bar filled some of that void. Our site was going over the monthly limit of 250K bar loads that is allowed on the yearly plan for $200. So we removed it, cause many of our users will flip through pages, and our Bar Loads could not get out of hand.
We found that most people just want the IM feature on the bar. We tried all the other features, and the only other thing that was nice about Skysa was that you could do POLL or send out a BLAST message for when people logged on. It was simple, easy, and you didn't have to know a lot of HTML coding to do it.
I think a good suggestion for these Bar widgets is to have a WELCOME message, Pending member approval message and a decline message.
We orbati.com network, we tested the Conduit's toolbar and Wibiya part of the Conduit, and tested the toolbar Skysa and reached the conclusion that the skysa toolbar is the best because it offers better integration with our network, and offers better support tools such as chat with video chat and more. Incidentally, the toolbar Skysa is that we are currently using (http://orbati.com).
I have used Conduit. I think it is a nice and makes your site appear more professional; but like a lot of features on electronics that everyone wants and makes sure the gadget in question has one doesn't really use it. So the reality is that no we haven't made money from it but we still offer it just in case someone wants it.
we can do this our self