A lot of our partners are confused by the differences between a Facebook Page and our open source NewsCloud Community application and whether the two can be used together.
Facebook Pages are Facebook's standard outreach object - a place where you can create a mini website within Facebook about your topic, organization or personality.
- Facebook pages are easy to create, set up and post content to
- Facebook pages usually have a simple web address (url) for sharing e.g. http://www.facebook.com/carolyn.hax
- Facebook pages offer a wall for sharing links, an info business card page, a discussion page, notes, Facebook events and a place to share photos and videos
- Facebook pages are free
- Facebook pages spread virally among friends: It's easy for people to share links from your Facebook Page on their own wall so that it may appear in their friends' news feeds.
- Facebook pages help you aggregate fans of your organization, topic or personality
- Facebook pages offer the ability to restrict permissions for posting
- You can post announcements directly to the Facebook newsfeed of your fans
- Facebook page functionality can be extended with third party applications
- Facebook provides useful statistics for analyzing your fan base and page traffic
- Facebook pages offer limited to no design customization or branding
- Facebook pages are kind of boring - they look just like everyone else's Facebook page
- Facebook pages are rarely a place where fans return to do daily to learn about what you're up to. It's more likely they'll just read about you in their feed.
- Comment threads tend to accumulate on your Facebook page and not on your website. Not only do you end up with two sets of comment threads but your community activity is generating revenue for Facebook (because they run ads on the side of your page, not you)
- Fans of your Facebook page and fans of your NewsCloud application cannot be aggregated - for some reason Facebook hasn't decided to allow this yet.
- Facebook page content is not generally indexed actively by search engines.
- It's difficult for people to find old content from a Facebook Page wall as there is currently no search and limited navigation
- Your page is subject to Facebook's censorship and administrative policies. Theoretically, it could be turned off at any time.
NewsCloud's community application runs a Facebook application or a Facebook Connect Website. It's essentially a technology for hosting an interactive community home for your audience.
- Fully customize the design, branding, choice and layout of elements on your site home page
- Offers a variety of interactive features unavailable on pages e.g. news, blogging, photo & video galleries, resource directories, event calendar, predictions game, classifieds and lending library, question & answer feature, discussion forums, idea gathering, et al. See the complete feature summary.
- The design of our applications encourages the growth of community, helps your audience discover other readers and builds loyalty with your mission. Members are rewarded for participating with a scoring system.
- The Facebook Connect Website can run at your own domain e.g. http://carolynhax.washpost.com which makes sharing the site easier for readers
- Our platform provides its own notification system to tell audience members when people are interacting with their content.
- Audience members can like or comment on content in your site and have it automatically shared on their wall.
- There are a variety of ways to automatically integrate content into your site from existing news feeds.
- You can integrate your site traffic into your existing statistical engine e.g. Google Analytics or Omniture
- You can integrate advertising from your existing advertising system e.g. Google's Doubleclick, OpenX, Helios, et al. You earn revenue from your community traffic rather than Facebook.
- Allows readers to share your content virally via Facebook, Twitter and other services.
- Content on your site is published to a standard sitemap for search engines to index. This helps readers discover content on your site.
- Readers can search your site for older content using our google search widget
- Our platform is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation so it's open source. It's features are continually improving and expanding - and you can customize it yourself if you choose to.
- You control the site, the database, the member list, the source code - not Facebook. Facebook can't turn off your site.
- The breadth of our community site requires that you dedicate some staff time to populate content and moderate the website
- There is some moderate complexity to operating the site technically and therefore incurs some hosting and managed service costs
- Facebook creates an application page separate from any fan page you set up - these fans cannot be combined/integrated with your existing fan pages.
- You cannot contact registered members of your site unless they voluntarily provide an email address during or after registration or return to your site to see notifications.
If you have more questions, please visit http://support.newscloud.com
Read the previous post: Choosing between a Facebook Application and a Facebook Connect Website.