Standard Insurance Builds Personal Finance Community On Jive

Social platform serves as foundation for personal finance site.
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When Standard Insurance decided to create a personal finance website, the Jive community platform gave it a head start.

Adaptu was established as a subsidiary of the insurance firm, with a mission of operating independently as a tool for aggregating financial information and providing access to financial coaching. It's particularly targeted at women 28 to 45 years old who are purchasing new homes, getting married, having children, and needing to plan for those major milestones.

"Really, what Adaptu is about is helping people adapt to the challenges in their lives," Mark Brundage, the site's executive leader, said in an interview. Standard Insurance created the site because it looked at its customer base of 8 million people and saw "a tremendous gap in the marketplace" where more and more people were under intense financial stress, yet many "didn't have the net worth to afford a world-class financial advisor."

Following a private beta that began late last year, the site has been in beta testing for the past several months and ought to go public later this month or in November, Brundage said. Adaptu will be a significant, large-scale consumer implementation of Jive, he said, and represents "the first time anyone has taken Jive and plugged in a financial aggregation service."

[Learn how one community manager adapted to Jive's New Platform.]

The service is somewhat similar to, the financial website acquired by Intuit in 2009, but will offer more access to financial coaching, Brundage said.

Adaptu itself will not be advising people on where to put their money, but it provides a community where people can compare notes on the challenges they are facing, as well as editorial content on money management, Brundage said. Standard Insurance will be in the background as a sponsor, but the site content will be impartial, he said.

Another goal for the community is to get consumers to share--and commit to--their financial goals. "People tend to learn better and stay motivated in a group environment," Brundage said.

Community members have also been forthright in their feedback to the site's developers, he said, and Adaptu has been working on simplifying the site's navigation so that commonly used features like discussion boards are front and center, hot topics are highlighted, and content on important subjects is easy to find.

The Jive Engage platform supports both external communities for customers and the public and internal communities for employees. So far, Adaptu is using only the public-facing platform, which it selected because Jive is consistently ranked as one of the leaders in supporting public Web communities, Brundage said.

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