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As we close in on 1,000 members, we've made some changes to The Independent Grocer Network (IGN) to enhance its content and simplify the use of the network.
For those of you not familiar with IGN, it's a custom, exclusive social network for independent grocers and the wholesalers that serve them. it was built as an online platform where independent grocers from around the country could easily connect with their peers and share information to the benefit of all.
Members can share this information with the group via a main wall posting, or by posting blogs, forum questions, and multimedia such as photos and videos. They can also connect directly with each other via each member's profile page.
Membership consists of approximately 60 percent retailers and wholesalers, with the remaining 40 percent made up of association members, universities with food marketing programs, students, and suppliers.
The largest enhancement to the network has been its simplification. Based on member feedback we removed many of the apps and modules that were seldom used to provide more space for the main page's key components: the activity feed (which summarizes all of the network's activity in one place), blogs, discussion forum, multimedia, and calendar.
New network tools have also enabled us to incorporate RSS and twitter feeds from other industry sources, such as Progressive Grocer, industry associations and regional media such as the Shelby Report into our activity feed.
We have also included feeds from our Independent Grocer Twitter list in the IndyTweets module on the main IGN page, which gathers the real-time tweets from dozens of independent grocers into one convenient location so you can see how your peers are leveraging the platform.
Another new network tool is our social sign-in, which lets you sign in using your login from other platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, and Gmail. For those of you looking to join the network, this tool eliminates a step in the registration process.
Finally, IGN is currently the only place where you can download PDF versions of Progressive Grocer Independent, our supplement which launched as a standalone bimonthly publication this past February.
Please keep in mind that the bulk of the content on IGN is supplied by its members, so the more active you are in engaging other members, the move valuable tool the network is for all.
I invite you to join the conversation! To register, visit IGN's main page, then click the "Sign Up" link in the upper right corner of the page.