I recently signed up on Ecademy [ re-signed up would be a better description because I had signed on in December 2005 initially and never got back to using the platform much ]. I was assuming that Ecademy would have atleast a comparable business population – comparable to LinkedIn and openBC – if not more, but was quite shocked to find when they recently announced “Ecademy reaching 100,000 members!”
LinkedIn fortunately shares the total number of members on their platform : about 7 million as on date and openBC, although not very open about the numbers has atleast a million. By those standards, Ecademy is way behind – hence I still do not “get” why business networkers use this platform and how it benefits them.
I am a premium member on LinkedIn simply because the network pays me back – similarly on openBC. On Ecademy I am currently on a trial basis and need to decide whether I should convert to a paying member or not. They don’t have the concept of a free membership as their guest accounts expire in 14 days – and 14 days is just not enough to gauge whether a business networking platform is a good fit for me or not.
I’d really like to find out what your experience has been on this platform!
Ecademy does provide free membership of the platform provided you invite 5 people a month who join.
What keeps Ecademy growing strongly is being a community not a directory.
Linkedin and OpenBC are great directories but are not communities.
Ecademy is not a directory but a community and there’s a need for both worldwide.
That might be true – openBC atleast is making some effort to introduce the community part and LinkedIn uses the number of YahooGroups created by members – Ecademy has a community feel to it but my issue is similar to any other small business owners’ – how does it help me make money?
I have been using Ecademy “properly” only in the last 15-20 days so I can’t judge Ecademy on the money-making basis – it takes time to build relationships and trust and I don’t expect to get any new business unless I invest atleast six months on the platform.
But the proportion of business I might do on LinkedIn or openBC, will be higher simply because of the number of people on those platforms. LinkedIn more so than openBC. And indeed, my profile on LinkedIn is the first search result when you search for a logo designer, graphic designer or designer – not restricted geographically.
This post is to reach out to others who have benefited from Ecademy and learn from them how to use the network better – I am hoping for some “practical” pointers. And I was not aware that Ecademy offers free membership if 5 members are invited – I must also add that Ecademy’s Support is the best out of all portals mentioned in this post – fastest response time, most helpful and quickest problem resolution.
I’m a proactive member of all 3 networking websites mentioned in this post.
LinkedIn is a directory. Nothing more, nothing less. If you have a business you have to be present so people can track you down. OpenBC is a low treshold community with a very large memberbase. They also have a multi language interface which is great. The activity on the site is however very low. They organize good meetings with large attendance, but the best or most valuable conversations I had on these meetings were with people I knew from other networks. In my opinion Ecademy is the best of all 3. Very good networking community website with lots of tools. Excellent offline meetings and events, national and regional.
Low memberbase, but very HIGH level of activity.
And business ? well … I’ll give you my numbers : 5% of my new business comes through ‘word of mouth’ of exisiting customers. 95% comes from networking. I canceled publicity and marketing. Just networking.
Ecademy, M4M and OpenBC are my most important networks.
Given Ecademy just threw off 20 members for no good reason its not a good idea to be a member there. No-one thrown off broke a rule. No-one swore at management. The CEO said
The sadness in all this is the approach to criticism
by Glenn Watkins on 15-Nov-06 3:38pm
Fair points, well made.
With one exception – we don’t block people for criticising us or customer service(!) How odd you should think that.
Shortly after 20 people were permanently removed from the site after a manager got upset at one post and nuked the thread and then nuked everyone on the thread. Even one man who was only mentioned on thread was removed too, mentioned not actually writing anything on the thread.
The community is outraged at this removal of some of the best business ladies on the site.
But if you have a friend who can see this new thread or original – get a copy. Many posting support are now scared they will be thrown out too and management don’t know what day it is.
You cannot trust this platform with your business!
In the interest of accuracy, Ecademy has only 11,000 subscribers worldwide. Not 100,000.
They may, however, have 100,000 signed accounts, some of which have never been used. Personally I know many people who also have multiple accounts.
That said, I know people that are getting business from Ecademy (I am one of those despite being banned from the platform for challenging management’s decisions on another banning, and subsequently using a fake account to try and retrieve my Intellectual Property). If it works, it’s worth it, if not then move on.
My advice? Post in Market Place, stay away from the Front Page ‘blogging’ facility, and turn a blind eye to the Management style. Refrain from stating an opinion, especially one that is opposed to that of the owners of the site, and make sure you keep a copy of your network, testimonials, content and PMs.
Ecademy is a community in the same way that Hitlers Germany was a democracy.
I have been a keen online-networker for many years, and I was very happy when LinkedIn and OpenBC / XING arrived as it enabled me to both stay in control of my contacts, and find more business.
At some point, I was introduced to Ecademy, and found it very interesting – due to the proposal of community. And I did use it very actively for about 6 month time, paying as a Power Networker. However, the low number of active users turned me off very soon. Also it seemed the management was not interested in growing the numbers outside of UK (this may be a mis interpretation of course :D)
So, I decided to stop using Ecademy and shut down my account.
Today I use OpenBC as a community, and LinkedIn as a directory 🙂
I use all three, plus another service called Fast Pitch!
I encourage you to try this service, and let me know what you think as well.
Comments are closed.