Creativity with Networks in SocialEngine PHP

SocialEngine - Community Software

Networks are an incredibly powerful tool in SocialEngine PHP. With networks, your site can become a “niche-centric” community. This article will delve into networks and creative ways you can use them to help focus your community.

What are Networks?
In SocialEngine PHP, Networks are described as follows:
Networks are generally used for determining what members see in the “what’s new” feed, letting members associate with each other based on common profile information (without needing to be friends directly), and serving advertisements to specific groups of members. Each member can join one or more networks if you allow them to, and their networks will be shown on their profile. If you decide to have networks, be sure that they relate to your community’s theme. For example, if your community has members from various countries, you can create a network for each country.
Now you know the basics of what a network is and a basic use for them, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s look at a few other creative ways networks can be used.
How can Networks be Used?
In addition to using networks as regional filters, you can also use them to help group people with similar interests. Here are a few examples:

  • Hobby – You could have networks for “Knitting,” “Painting,” “Cooking,” “Glasswork,” “Pottery,” etc.
  • Professional – Let’s say you have a website for musicians. You could have networks for genres such as “Rock,” “Country,” “Hip-hop,” or you could even have networks for “Musician”, “Agent,” “Producer,” etc.
  • Educational – Your networks for this could be for courses such as “Literature,” “Math,” “History,” or perhaps “Student,” “Teacher,” “Parent.”

What do Networks do?
Networks are used to filter content or ads. When creating ads, you can set them to show to specific networks. This can help you target your ads to the right group of people.
Networks also help your members filter content based on their interests. For example, a member could be subscribed to the “Pottery” network. That member can choose to post items just for that network to see. Members who have also subscribed to “Pottery” would see those posts, while members who have not subscribed to it would not see the post. This is a much better experience for your members as they can choose to view just the activity items they want to see, rather than filling their activity feed with things they may not be interested in.
As you can see, networks are a great tool that can be used in a few different ways to give your customers a unique experience! Got questions? Other suggestions for how to use Networks? Let us know! Feel free to post any questions or comments in our community.
“I know of no single formula for success. But over the years I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together.” ~ Queen Elizabeth II
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