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NewsGator Social Sites First Impressions

May 27, 2009

I just attended a demo of NewsGator Social Sites Enterprise and it was interesting to see how they approach “Enterprise 2.0”. 

Given their RSS background (I use NewsGator as my aggregator) they’re very feed oriented in terms how they manage information.  Most of the demo was oriented around finding or aggregating information as opposed to content creation.

There’s a nice Ajax front end to SharePoint.  Like Clearspace you can create communities, follow friends/co-workers, attach to feeds, etc.  Most things you expect from basic social networking software with good information management tools.  They have thier own Sharepoint Feed Manager webpart, feed search, feed management, tagging, etc.

I got the impression it wasn’t nearly as robust on content creation, relying more on other tools like Twitter, blogs (either the base Sharepoint one or others), external wikis, etc. although it appears they have things like a discussion boards (hopefully better than the stock MOSS one) and other community sharing things like Community Ideas.

Decent level of polish as near as I could tell.  I haven’t tried their on-line demo.

I guess there are several general strategies we could pursue.  Leverage our investment into SharePoint by using plugins like Confluence for Wikis and enhancements like Telligent or NewsGator for social software capabilities.  Given how poor the “out of box” social software capabilities of MOSS the cost to bring it up to par appears to be fairly high.

I found an interesting/amusing article (during the demo, heh) that indicates that our experience is common.

Money Quote:

The last couple of years I have had many conversations with a broad selection of mid-sized to large organizations.

One common element from all of the discussions is the frustration nearly all of these organization have with their experience with Microsoft SharePoint 2007.

From SharePoint 2007: Gateway Drug to Enterprise Social Tools.

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Categories: Social Software
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