Since launching our first edition of The CMX Guide to Community Platforms back in 2015, the landscape for community software has changed drastically. More large enterprises are buying software, the platforms are starting to define standards (that may or may not map back to what you need in your organization), and community builders like you are becoming far more savvy about what they need in a community platform.
Despite our growth, we know there is still work to do. In 2016, we researched the platform decisions of over 400 community professionals and found that only 4 in 10 were applying a rigorous approach to making their community platform decision.¹
This is definitely an area where a little education can go a long way. Community platforms range from “free” (minus the thousands of hours of your company’s time to implement and maintain) to hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees and development work annually. This is no small investment.
For this reason, picking a community platform should not necessarily be easy. But, at the very least, there should be a clear process to making this decision, and comparing all the best platforms should be a cinch.
So we set out to better educate the market.
What’s included in this resource?
The 8 Questions You Must Ask Before Picking a Platform
We’ve identified and clarified the questions you need to ask before diving straight into all the platforms on the market.
When you go through these eight questions and find the answers, you’ll be doing the prep work you need to do before launching into the full software selection process. Then you’ll go into conversations with stakeholders prepared and confident.
A Well-Defined Comparison Table & Easily Downloadable Platform Reviews
In addition to the robust introductory information in this guide, this edition includes downloadable sheets for every single platform we review, so you can just take what you need from the resource and share it with your team in whatever way is easiest for you.
Plus, the last portion of the guide includes a downloadable table of side-by-side feature comparisons for every single platform in the guide.
A Downloadable, Editable Platform Review Sheet
Our fully downloadable Google Doc inside the ebook allows you to make long lists and break them down into short lists to share with your team. We walk you through exactly how to use the downloadable review sheet so you’re not on your own.
We’ve worked with many of our members going through the process internally to outline exactly what you need to keep track of in your platform comparison process, and this one document will get you very, very far.
This Guide is for You, By People like You
We didn’t make this resource in a silo. We didn’t go out and hire a bunch of virtual assistants to do research on our behalf.
Instead, we brought on one of our members who has actually worked inside of a platform company and built countless communities (Hi, Harmony!) and we reached out to dozens of community members for their insight, gathered survey responses from over 300 past readers, and did personal outreach to platform companies via phone and email for over 6 months. Harmony spent countless evenings filling in data and researching example communities — and it shows.
We want you to be able to own the room when you talk about community platforms in your organization. Now you will.
Get smart about how you make your community platform decisions. Download The CMX Guide to Community Platforms now.
Want to supplement the guide with more visual/auditory learning content? Watch our webinar on picking your community platform, presented by co-authors Harmony Leanna Eichsteadt and Carrie Melissa Jones.