This week, Demand Media announced Pluck 5, the latest version of its social platform, which is used by some pretty big brands, such as AARP, Kraft, NFL, NPR, Target, USA Today and Whole Foods.
In addition to launching some new applications within Pluck, the company has redesigned some of the old ones. The new version also sports ten different engines. There are discovery engines like: Pluck Participation, Recommendation and Reputation Engines present timely, relevant information. There are exchange engines like: Pluck Relation, Notification, Connection and Syndication Engines drive personalized, targeted communication. Finally there are management engines including: Pluck Identification, Localization and Moderation Engines power robust control for multiple roles, spanning customers to moderators.
WebProNews reached out to Steve Semelsberger, SVP and GM of Social Solutions at Demand Media, who told us some more about these engines. Following is what he told us about them.
“In general, consumers who participate in a Pluck community interact with some combination of our fourteen Pluck Applications (Forums, Blogs, Comments, etc.). What consumers don’t see is the ten Engines that power our Applications. Our ten Engines, grouped as Discovery, Exchange and Management functional families, drive experiences available through the Pluck API, including Applications and Collections. Discovery Engines present timely, relevant information.”
“Each of the ten Pluck 5 Engines powers a particular aspect of community – social reputation, for example, or localization – which can be manifested in any of Pluck’s pre-built Applications. For example, the Participation Engine highlights online community member presence. The Recommendation Engine captures and serves recent and scored items. The Reputation Engine manages points, badges, rewards and more. The Engines are also accessible to developers through the Pluck API, which gives brands the ability to modify how our Applications function or even to create entirely new Applications.”
“Our ten Engines naturally fall into three families, which you refer to in your question. The Discovery Engines surface community information, about which community members are present (Participation Engine), which pieces of content are new or have been reacted to (Recommendation Engine), and who among the community is active, respected, or influential (Reputation Engine).”
“Exchange Engines support personalized, targeted communications that help facilitate communication inside the community and from the community to external social destinations and back. The Relation Engine authorizes following and friendship management within Pluck services. The Notification Engine manages email and other updates. The Connection Engine makes it easy for community members to bind their accounts from Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The Syndication Engine manages how content is delivered to, and shared with, third-party services.”
“Finally, the Management Engines power control across roles – community members to moderators to business owners and provide oversight of and control over various aspects of a Pluck community. The Identification Engine manages single sign-on authentication against social, proprietary and Pluck services. The Localization Engine enables one instance of the Pluck platform to serve multiple language experiences simultaneously. The Moderation Engine handles key features like user tiers, blocks, filters, routing, listening and more. More information on Engines is available on our website, including detailed pages for each Engine that describe uses and benefits.”
“Our Applications are built on top of these engines and interact with them in a live community. The Engines in turn rely on the Pluck platform’s underlying Technology (with its Data, Presentation, Performance and Processing layers).”
“We tend to do business with large brands that have a culture that predisposes them to customized and tailored systems. They bring this same predisposition to their use of Pluck. By making all of the capabilities of our Engines accessible to their developers, through the Pluck API, our brand customers can create precisely the community experience that meets their business objectives. Our best and most successful customers have taken full advantage of this customizability and have delivered a community that is unique to them, is consistent with their brand, attracts their core audience and cultivates the precise passions and experiences that this core audience demands, all in the interest of particular business outcomes.”
In its most recent earnings report, Demand Media reported a 32% increase in revenue. While perhaps known best as a content company, the company generates revenue from its social and registrar businesses as well. Pluck is obviously a key part of the company’s social strategy, and clearly Demand is very serious about improving that.