Monday, August 18, 2008

ChMS - myFlock

If you haven't already, you MUST read the summary of what we are looking for. This is critical to understand my comments. The vendors being reviewed work hard to provide a good product to serve the church, and they should be commended for that. Our needs are very specific, and just because a product isn't right for us does not mean that it isn't perfect for your church. By the same token, just because we didn't like a product does not mean it doesn't meet needs or provide genuine value to its clients. The blurb and "target market" are taken from the capterra list I referenced in my first post. Finally, my thoughts are my own and not an official position of my employer. Thank you.

I included myFlock into this comparison because I wanted to see what social networking looked like within a church website.

Christian social networking for you, a complete web solution for your church.
Target Market: Medium - Large
Quick Summary - Seems like jack of all trades, master of none, but we should look at it to evaluate the social networking aspects.

Level 2 Analysis:

How big? - Small Company
How many customers? - 500
How long in business? - 2001
Are they profitable? - I assume so
Technical Details - Apache, MySQL, PHP, Perl

Volunteer Management - Does not provide the task accountability we are seeking
Web Integration - Complete.
Attendance - Not well suited to our size dataset
Assimilation - Not comprehensive

Level 2 Summary - I really need to do the demo to get a better picture of this software. At this point, I am still interested and I like what I see and I’d like to see where they are going with it.

Level 3 Analysis - myFlock does a decent job of being a private myspace, to foster interaction among the church community. My biggest issue is that I'm not sure I like that approach. We focus on people reaching their OIKOS, the 8-15 people in their relational world that God has supernaturally and strategically placed in their life. The problem is that their OIKOS is not going to want to have an account on a church version of myspace, they already have an account on facebook... I think, for us and our approach, we really need to look at how the church can leverage a tool like facebook.

myFlock has far better church management tools than you can discern from their website, but they aren't at the level we are looking for. The interface is a bit cumbersome, and it seems like it's built on older web technology. The good side of that is that the technology is tested and stable, but it doesn't have the polish or smooth operation of some of the other solutions that leverage all the latest goodies.

Reservations aside, myflock is not a bad product. It is by far the cheapest solution I considered. It something like 10% of the cost of some of the other solutions, and is a pretty good value for the money.


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