Lunch.com Launches DIY Social Network Tool for Websites and Blogs

Lunch.com, a website where members can create free review communities, today announced the launch of the Lunch Network, letting websites and blogs create turnkey content communities integrated into their existing sites.

The Lunch platform serves all of the content, features and functionality of an interconnected network of interest-based communities, which exist on theirrespective domains. Content flows freely across all Network Communities that share related topics, offering content scaling as well as relevant exposure.

According to the company, sites can benefit from exposure to an interested audience, add more pages of content for free and increase page views and time on site. Customization options allow matching these community pages to the look and feel of the sites on which they reside.

Social Times asked J.R. Johnson, founder and CEO of Lunch.com, to tell us why sites would choose the Lunch Network over other traffic and revenue building options. He said, “From small bloggers to large sites, we’ve seen that the biggest issue they face is having resources. Getting more engagement is of course what they want, but it takes time and effort – which is where the Lunch Network comes in.”

“People who plug this in are getting all of our resources so that they don’t have to deal with the tech development, the community moderation or innovating new features – we take of that,” Johnson stated. “Not only is there no charge for this truly seamless integration, but we’re offering a revenue share on ads, not to mention a really unique approach to providing relevant exposure to an interested audience.”

Live examples of communities on the Lunch Network can be seen on sites such as The Morning News’ Tournament of Books, Environmental News Network and Indie Game Reviewer.

Designed to increase engagement, Lunch’s suite of tools includes ratings, tips, reviews, lists, comments and discussions. Features also include social media functionality like earning custom badges, taking polls and integration with Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms. Curation permits sites to block any other community or content at any time, as well as editorialize featured topics and other content.

By featuring branded attribution links on each post, the Lunch Network offers brands the potential for increased exposure and awareness. The company claims these links also benefit SEO, as they expand relevant linkbacks to related sites.

Lunch shares revenue, so sites can share ad impressions for content that’s read in their community, as well as when it’s seen on Lunch.com or on other communities across the Network. This model aims to ensure that those who create the best content earn the most revenue. The Network also supports Amazon Affiliate links on the same sharing structure.

Social Times recently reported on Lunch.com’s Trust Points, a feature that lets people consider the source of the recommendations they find. Trust Points helps readers give the same credit or discount to the value of each opinion as they would to a recommendation given by a friend over lunch.

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