FTAdviser creates online community to engage with readers

FTAdviser is launching a dedicated community forum on its website, called Canary Towers, in a bid to interact with its readers and find out what matters most to them.

The company has appointed social media specialists Demand Media to power Canary Towers, an online community site developed specifically for independent financial advisers (IFAs) in the UK.

Canary Towers was developed after findings from a series of reader focus groups conducted by FTAdviser.com revealed that IFAs across the UK were looking for a way to easily access the wider community, openly discuss the issues affecting them and seek support and advice from their peers.

The development of the site is part of an ongoing initiative from FTAdviser to strengthen relationships with its existing readership and attract new subscribers to both print and online.

IFAs can create an online persona on the site and then search and link with their peers to build out their own professional social network. They can also engage with online content by commenting on and recommending articles, take part in forum discussions and access and contribute to a number of blogs run by industry experts.

Charl Porter, lead product manager for FT.com and FTBusiness, says: “FTAdviser.com is no longer simply a broadcaster of news; we are now engaged in a direct two-way conversation with our readers. Through our focus groups, we knew exactly what functionality our readers wanted from their online community and the Pluck platform impressed us with its broad portfolio of applications.

“4000 people have already registered and we’ve seen a healthy number of subscribers. We are encouraged by these results at this early stage of moving to a metered model and registrations give us greater insight into the quality of the audience available for advertisers. Prior to the launch of Canary Towers we only had a commenting functionality on the blogs.”

The FTAdviser.com editorial team has taken over the community management function of Canary Towers and the journalists actively contribute to forum discussions. The site has a strict commenting policy which is detailed in its online user guidelines and all comments made on the site are post-moderated by the online team.

Stephanie Himoff, vice president of sales & business development for Demand Media in Europe, says: “This was a much more ambitious implementation that really speaks to the strength and breadth of the Pluck platform.”

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