In a discussion with a customer that I had around building engaging Business Communities, the obvious question came around who they could use to build communities. Here are some providers and our key take on their position in the market. The obvious alternative is to build your own community and hire the right people to grow and manage it, or use my company (Canvas Group) but here are some alternative options:
1. Solution Set is based in Palo Alto, CA and has built several communities for clients including Autodesk, Electronics for Imaging and TiVo
2. WebCrossing based in San Francisco, CA has built & managed communities for New York Times, Salon and Edmunds
3. Lithium, based in Emeryville, CA has customers communities with Nokia, Cingular & Dell
4. Communispace based in Waltertown, MA has managed communities for Bank of America, Avon and Charles Schwab
5. LiveWorld based in San Jose, CA has managed communities for Kraft, TV Guide and Land Rover
6. Informative, out of San Francisco has customer communities for Lego, Wegmans and Kodak
7. Big in Japan from Dallas, TX offers strategy and implementation services. Not sure of customers yet.
8. eModeration, based in London has moderated communites for GE, Nokia and Wetpaint.
9. Citizen Agency in San Francisco, provides strategy and design services for communities for Ma.gnolia and Scrapblog.
10. Full Circle Associates based in Seattle, WA has done work for AARP and University of Washington Human Services Policy Center.
11. Mzinga based in Woburn, MA has customers in Webex, Pearson Education and Sextant Search Partners.
12. Headshift based in London, has offices in New York, Australia and Switzerland.
I am sure there are lots more and we will add as we run into them. We will look at the software options and the vendors in the space of community development and management.