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SocialText First Impressions

July 24, 2009

I had a twitter the other day that SocialText has a Micro-Blog (twitter) appliance.  So I went to check it out.  Actually they have a series of appliances including a full Enterprise Social Network appliance.  With a free trial for 50 users.  If you’d like to see what SocialText is like, go to their site, click on Try in the upper right corner.

It’s wiki based so almost everything is a wiki page…which has it’s pluses and minuses.  The plus is that you get wikilinks.  The minus is…well…everythink is a wiki page.  A fancy wiki page with a decent editor but still a wiki page.  For example, all blog posts are wiki pages.  Which is fine except that you don’t get some blog features like trackbacks.

For sharepoint integration they allow you to publish/export your wiki pages to a .doc file on Sharepoint.  There’s also an outlook widget I wasn’t able to test.  These are both useful given the importance of the Microsoft ecosystem within the enterprise.

All in all, I think that ClearSpace provided a nicer out of box environment but SocialText wasn’t bad based on 15 minutes of playing around.  It’s just that it seems that, like NewsGator, they started with a core technology (feed aggregation for NewsGator, and wiki for SocialText) and made the “Enterprise Social Networking” concept work around that core technology rather than the other way around.

Screenshots from their website:

Categories: Social Software
  1. July 25, 2009 at 3:51 am

    You mention that we (full disclosure, I work at Socialtext) integrate with SharePoint via exporting wiki pages to .doc. While correct, we do have export, we also have full SharePoint integration via web parts. http://www.socialtext.com/products/connectors.php

  2. Nigel
    July 25, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    Alan, that’s great to hear. Given that there’s no Sharepoint to try with I just went with this from that page:

    “Socialtext integrates with Microsoft SharePoint in a way that gives you a unified experience and the best of both applications. You can draft content on Socialtext workspace pages, gather collaborative feedback from team members, and then publish a final version of this content as a Microsoft Word document stored inside of SharePoint. With this integration, you see various summary views of Socialtext workspace content inside SharePoint, such as ‘What’s New’ and ‘Watchlist’ views, which gives you a unified and seamless experience. You can also link to files in the SharePoint repository from any Socialtext workspace page.”

    You should probably want someone to update that to include some webpart examples too…or link to more detailed discussion. Especially if you use any of the presence information from Sharepoint/AD/Communicator. We probably aren’t the only folks seeking good Sharepoint integration to leverage what we already have deployed.

    Thanks for the comment, it’s hard to see everything in a self guided 15-30 mins tour.

  3. July 27, 2009 at 12:37 am

    Thanks for the feedback, I’ll look into getting some screenshots and perhaps a short video added to the Connectors page, so that it is a little clearer. Please let me know if I can help in any way.

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