New SME.org: Initial impressions

May 1, 2012

I’ve been playing around with SME.org’s new site, which is based on software called Higher Logic. It includes both blogging and social media functions, as well as online management of your membership, etc.

So, how are they doing? Forthwith, a quick initial scan of the good, the bad, and the ugly. As we delve deeper into the platform, we’ll update this review…

The Good

  • They were smart enough not to try competing directly with LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Options exist to bring your LinkedIn information to your profile, pipe in your Twitter posts, link to outside blogs you’re part of, etc.
  • Being able to manage your membership online, and see your order history for memberships, courses, etc., is a nice step forward. From a chapter point of view, we’ll also need to be able to do reports that show us membership numbers, status, etc. Not yet clear how that’s working.

The Bad

  • Response to clicks is really, really sloooow, esp. for anything in the member profile section, and there have been frequent “connection attempt failed” messages when I tried to do things like link my LinkedIn profile. That does need to be fixed, or it will be a huge brake on usage of the site.
  • All blogs are based around personal profiles. Which is fine, in and of itself, But it’s set up so that if we associate posts with our chapter, we can’t also associate it with a Community of Interest like “Product & Process Design and Management”. Lame. This alone means that I can’t recommend SME.org as our chapter’s blogging focus. Tags aren’t a good substitute.

The Ugly

  • The blogging software’s user interface is very primitive when it comes to managing posts.
  • The blogging software handles bullet points very poorly. Like post management, the difference between this and Short Circuits here on WordPress.com is night and day.

I posted a mirror of this initial post on SME.org, as a blog entry. We’ll see if it attracts any other comments or thoughts.

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