A few years ago YWAM launched its own social network called YWAMCOnnect.net.At the time it was a great idea and loads of people signed up, setting up profiles and adding friends etc.I’ll be honest, I’m not a big fan. It’s not a very appealing site aesthetically and doesn’t necessarily work that well. It’s become more a news site where YWAMers can keep up to date on news and events, but the social network side appears to be suffering.This network was created to allow YWAMers from around the world to connect and share and initially it was successful (at least I signed up and mess around with it for a bit).
Visiting it once again and looking through the names of members I recognise, most of them are now on Facebook. My assumption is that most of those people are no longer visiting YWAMConnect.net, or they’re not maintaining their profile.And this raises a question: How many “connecting” networks can someone really be a part of? I’m quite happy on Facebook, almost everyone I know is a user and so it works. Do I want to log into more than social network every day? The successful “other” networks are those built around a purpose, for example: Flickr (photos), Velospace (bikes), and Digg (news and videos). None of these do “connecting” as well as facebook (but probably better then myspace – scoff), but in their specified purpose they are fantastic. Is being a YWAMer enough to make YWAMConnect a go-to location for me? Not really. It is interesting to see who is where and with whom are they working etc, but not that interesting. YWAMConnect could do with a higher purpose.
I still like my CoLabor idea and I think it could be a really useful tool for YWAM. It has a specific purpose, although I do wonder how often people will stay connected once they sign up. Going to have to think of how to help users not only share their vision, but also begin to work together.