Mirror, mirror on the wall, who has the best community of all? To find out, we evaluated the online community sites operated by 20 companies on the 2011 siteIQ eBusiness Index. We looked at all types of communities. Support, Idea.Thought leadership. Business networks.
Since opinions are good — but facts are better — we conducted these evaluations using our Online Communities Benchmark which is packed full of the 98 types of navigation, content, features, & capabilities you need to compete with the best communities on the IT Web.
Of course, great communities are much more than the sum of their parts. To see how well these sites put their pieces together, we conducted a second usability-centered review that measures how these communities achieve visitor and member objectives.
Then we crunched the numbers — ranked & rated each community — created cool graphs to tell the story — and put it all in this report.
Usability scores skyrocketed this year – and six communities made the Good Practice roster: Cisco.com, Intel.com, Juniper.net, Symantec.com, Dell.com, and Brocade.com. SAP.com’s communities just missed the mark, but we still think they deserve an honorable mention.
Usability gainers & losers are the Who’s Who of the business.
On the gainer front, SAS.com and the IBM Software Group finally got their community mojos going (scored goose eggs last year) — but still ended up in 13th and 15th place. Meanwhile, CA.com saw a nice bump in its usability points – but competitors did a better job, which landed it in 17th place.
On the loser front, both HP.com and Microsoft’s usability dropped a tad. That didn’t make any difference to HP.com’s #9 ranking. Microsoft, on the other hand, slid from 14th to 16th place (it’s a rough ranking but somebody’s got to be there).
On a features & capabilities basis, we have good news and bad news.
On the good news front — if your community is reviewed in this report, you probably want to schedule a victory lap. Half of the communities aced most of the 98 types of content on the benchmark and (with the exception of Insight and CDW – not even close and no cigar) everyone else performs at a competitive level.
That leaves the bad news for teams planning their first foray into communities – or need to make their current communities more than digital placeholders. Simply put, the bar is already high – and there’s not much time to play catch up. (On the other hand, the master plan in this report can show you how).
But don’t take our word for it. Look under the tabs on this page to learn more about what’s in this report.
If improving your online communities isn’t on your dance card this year, you’ll probably be more interested in our other reports. On the other hand, if you are responsible for your company’s communities, we think this report will be your cup of tea. Here’s who will benefit most from this report.
Our clients tell us that they use our reports to:
If you want the inside scoop on the best communities — where they excel and how they do it — you’ve come to the right place. Here’s what’s in this 27-page report.
Think of it as a way to cut through the competitive clutter and laser focus your team on the communities that matter.
Here, we rank and rate each community based on seven key usability issues (we even define what we’re looking for):
Think of it as a way to see which communities members love to love.
Think of it as your master plan to build a perfect community — and see the holes in your competitors’ community sites.
Since a picture’s worth a thousand words, this report includes 19 graphs, charts, and tables — perfect to educate your stakeholders and make a business case with executives.
Want to know what’s in the report page-by-page? Check out the simple Table of Contents.
Facts are great – but graphs are better. That’s why all of our reports are packed with graphs you can use to make your case. Here are some interesting facts from this report.
Twice a year, we audit and evaluate the 23 Websites that represent the best-of-the-best on the IT Web. We put them through their usability paces. We score them based on over 1,200 types of content, features, & capabilities across eighteen Website zones & cross-site utilities.
Then we rank and rate them based on the results.