Last week, 16-year old student Thulashika Nithiyananthan carried out work experience in the marketing department at Sponge. We wanted to get her thoughts on creating and managing her own Sponge powered Q&A community. Over to Thulashika for the rest of this article…
I set up my very own Sponge community today and I must say signing up for it was the quickest procedure ever. We’ve all been burdened by those life-long sign up procedures where we’re required to fill in every single detail there is to know about you – even your pet dog’s name. But with Sponge all I had to do was give my email address, create a password and I was good to go.
It was a bit tricky for me to come up with my Q&A community theme, but I went with an obvious idea – careers and I inventively called it “Careers Advice”. I thought it would be a great way to easily communicate with the other employees in the office, plus friends and family. You can take a look at my community here: http://careersadvice.getsponge.com/ and feel free to join, so you can ask or answer any career related questions.
What do I think of Sponge?
I think the great thing about Sponge is that it isn’t just about asking questions like “when did dinosaurs go extinct?” that require factual answers. You can use Sponge to ask for people’s opinions or open up a discussion and debate, which was my motive with my Careers Advice community. Even better, you get notified by e-mail as soon as a user answers one of your questions. So while I was waiting nervously to check whether anyone was even mildly interested to reply to the new intern’s questions, my inbox started filling up. I smiled as I clicked on the link to see the first answer I got when I noticed the two boxes underneath: comment and thank. Therefore it’s not just a Q&A, it’s a site that’s open to social interactions.
What attracts all those keen Facebookers to the multi-million dollar network is the individuality. The ability to create and personalise a page that represents you, add photos, control your privacy. Sponge conveniently give you two options: Logging in directly via your Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn account for those of you who don’t wish to go through the pain of signing up to your 50th social network; or for those of you who aren’t part of any of these online communities – making your own Sponge profile.
If you’re a community manager you can customise your Sponge powered Q&A site. And trust me; you can go as crazy as you want with the backgrounds, like Justin Bieber tiles crazy. Or if you’re plain and boring like me, you can choose basic colours and maybe add a photo as a banner.
So that’s a bit of what I’ve soaked up from Sponge.