Archive for the ‘Social Software’ Category

Social Networking and Identity

July 25, 2009 Comments off

Lawrence Liu has an interesting article (based on an even more interesting blog post by Mike Gotta) about the relationship between enterprise social networking and identity.

Money Quotes:


Today, few enterprise strategists, architects, infrastructure planners, and project teams involved in social networking initiatives are paying enough attention to the long-term implications of identity on those efforts. Conversely, identity management teams are frequently not involved in determining the strategic ramifications of social networking initiatives on their enterprise practices. For instance, how does the organization assure profile attributes within a self-claimed social identity are truthful – what if employees build exaggerated or misleading social identities – what methods does the organization employ to vet social identity claims (assess community equity and determine reputation) – what implications are there when profiles reveal too much personal information (perhaps encouraging bias based on diversity attributes)?


Which is why I’ve been strongly advocating that the only way for Enterprise 2.0 initiatives to be successful is to have sponsorship not only from the CIO (to whom the Identity and Access Management team ultimately reports) but also from the head of HR (who is ultimately responsible for employee profiling and privacy policy).

The full articles are well worth the read if you’re interested in professional social networks.  Especially this scenario from Mike on why it could be important to your career.

Categories: Social Software

SocialText First Impressions

July 24, 2009 3 comments

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

LinkedIn is working on FaceBook for the Enterprise…

July 24, 2009 Comments off

I saw this article today on social software during lunch on the Fortune site.

The two interesting points:

Intel’s CIO Diane Bryant thinks Facebook for the enterprise is a good idea but that there’s no social media solution for the Enterprise.

LinkedIn’s CEO Reid Hoffman says that they’re building one called Company Groups…and they have a beta.

Categories: Social Software

NewsGator Social Sites First Impressions

May 27, 2009 Comments off

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.

Categories: Social Software

Sharepoint site…now on Sharepoint.

May 21, 2009 Comments off

I found this quite amusing.  The SharePoint blog just noted that they now have a SharePoint marketing site on…you guess it SharePoint Server 2007.

While they state:

Since the site is powered by MOSS, we are taking advantage of the publishing feature and list driven content.

In reality the primary thing you see when you go to that site is Silverlight.  Which is a bit better than when Silverlight launched and their site was running…Flash.

The site is a bit…underwhelming…without the Silverlight components.  I think the main navigation bar is Silverlight so it might also be a bit…unusable…without the Silverlight components.

Here‘s a more in depth look at the new site.

Categories: Social Software

Jive Clearspace First Impressions

March 13, 2009 Comments off

I did a 10 min tour of Jive Clearspace and my first impression is that the level of integration in Clearspace components is FAR better than in MOSS and the individual components (except perhaps MS Office integration) better from a social business system perspective.

The MySite functionality is better:


Configurability seems better.  Layout, templating and personalization is easier and better looking.

  • New blogs, messages, posts, etc appear in a single list and not different ones.
  • You can see who are the top participants.
  • There is an executive blog posts area.
  • You can follow specific people and see what they are doing.

Employee Information is better:

When you click on an employee the information presented is better, you can follow them and the social network information makes more sense.  You can also “following” them and see how many folks follow them and how many folks they follow.

  • You can see what they typically find important in their commonly used tags.
  • They have a bio section.
  • They have an expertise section.
  • They can be tagged.
  • You can see what groups they belong to.

Group Support is better:

  • Groups get their own forum.
  • There’s a new news section.
  • You can easily create polls, announcements, upload documents and videos, write a blog post, invite folks and even leave the group.
  • Groups can be tagged.
  • You can see their members easily.  You can see if anyone you are following has joined that group recently.  You can see who recently joined.
  • It seems to neatly integrate a community very well.

Blogging appears superior than in MOSS.

  • Trackbacks works.
  • Commenting seems better.
  • Blog editing, tagging and management seem far better.

Try the demo out (bottom of the page on the link below).

A comparison of Sharepoint and Clearspace:

There is also Sharepoint integration.

Categories: Social Software