GROU.PS, a do-it-yourself social network focused on moderated online collaboration is launching a new tool, ActivityRank Pipelines. The feature is a point and reward system that lets moderators of a social network measure and rank members’ content contributions and then extend moderation privileges to members based on these rankings.
The moderators are able to activate the “ActivityRank” feature within their admin interface, which can rank users by how much content is submitted onto the network and by the type of content. For example, a blog focused network could give more points to the moderated blog entries than the contributed photos or links. The administrator then create roles for the group, such as Designer or Blog Moderator. A “Pipeline” can be set up, where the admin can define at what ranking a member is rewarded with what role.
Currently in other DIY social networks, like Ning and KickApps, you can give members administrative roles within a network but the decision is done manually by the lead admin and isn’t based on a ranking system. The GROU.PS feature is a useful way to create an incentive for members to create more content for a network, but it is more ideal for a large network with a good amount of content, like this medical GROU.PS network which has 10,000 members. Smaller networks just wouldn’t make use this feature.
GROU.PS’s networks are attractive to users because it lets you run all of your group’s collaboration tools from one GROU.PS domain using a single login. The system supports wikis, photos, links, blogs, calendars, chat, forums, maps, profiles, and subgroups – each of which is available as a plug-and-play module for your community. These modules also allow users to pull in their data from other third party services (flickr, Digg, blogs, etc).
Currently the entire GROU.PS network has 800,000 active users, according to founder Emre Sokullu, which is an increase from the 200,000 active users it had a year ago. Venture backed, GROU.PS raised $1.1 million in Series A funding from Golden Horn Ventures in July 2008. But it seems that the social network is having trouble gaining users in the U.S against the leader in the DIY space, Ning, which is growing at a rapid pace. GROU.PS’ users is most popular in Japan and Brazil.