Forrester recently kicked out its 2010 Community Platforms report by analyst Melissa Parrish. A total of five vendors were chosen as market superstars: Jive and Lithium lead the pack, while KickApps, Telligent Systems and Mzinga followed close behind. 

Plenty of Requirements

Like Garter, Forrester also dialed up its criteria this year. Here's a snippet of the list of features that were required just to be considered:

Core administration features:

  • Administer permissioning
  • Member permissioning
  • Member moderation
  • Customization of look and feel via WYSIWYG
  • Customization of look and feel via CSS

Core analytics features:

  • Traffic across all content types
  • Access to data warehouse for custom manual reports
  • Most popular content
  • Most popular members

Core content management, syndication, and import features

  • RSS feeds of all community content
  • Share this button
  • Facebook integration (SSO + users can post to Facebook from within community)
  • Twitter integration (SSO + users can post to Twitter from within community)

Core moderation features

  • Automated moderation based on defined keywords
  • UGC moderation

As for core functionality, the list included much of what we love about classic social networking, such as member profiles, blogs, wikis, polls, discussion boards, groups, etc. If the vendor passed that hurdle, they were then evaluated against 60 criteria, grouped into three categories:

  • Current offering: Features and functionality of the platform, strategic and technical services available through the vendor, the usability of the tools, and the depth of integrations possible
  • Strategy: Vendor’s mission, road map, partners, employee base, leadership team, etc.
  • Market presence: Revenue growth, number of clients, customer retention rate, enterprise client base, focus on marketing and large-scale communities.

In the end, here's what success looked like: 

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The Forrester Wave Community Platforms 2010 Report 

Jive Does it Again

Jive (news, site), a company that also earned a leadership position in three of this year's Gartner reports (Magic Quadrant 2010 for Workplace Social Software, Magic Quadrant for Externally Facing Social Software 2010 and Magic Quadrant for Social CRM 2010), also romanced Forrester this year.

The report touted both Jive and Lithium (news, site) as best-positioned to serve the greatest number of marketers, specifically highlighting Lithium's expertise in community  management for interactive marketers and Jive's comprehensive tool set for integrating the customer community with internal, employee-facing collaboration platforms. Meanwhile, KickApps, Telligent, and Mzinga put up some strong competition. Here's a complete scorecard of how each of the five winners measured up against each other:

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Forrester Wave: Community Platforms, Q4 2010

 Check out the full report here