The Social Networker

by Chris Miller at 07:33:11 AM on Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009


Socialtext took a huge leap forward in trying to secure a new part of the emerging enterprise market with Signals.  I was lucky enough to see some previews and live demonstrations last week, but had to hold out for the big launch today (video demos).

Socialtext took a few step approach in my opinion.  The first was to capitalize on the opportunity to partner with Adobe to bring the first enterprise application to the AIR platform.  This gives immediate cross-platform capability to the product itself, as well as the existing SocialText services that are all browser based.

Secondly they went after the enterprises that are trying to figure out Twitter.  While many startups are simply trying to be Twitter for the enterprises, Socialtext is the first with an existing large customer base they can tap into.  This gives them a clear advantage into customer penetration with the added free publicity this will generate.

Lastly, they made the smart move and brought this together with their flagship products, instead of trying to create a new silo solution.  Exposing the conversation between people is just as important as seeing when they edit a document.
Socialtext Signals provides an integrated user experience for social messaging across the Socialtext platform, such as the ability to Signal context of wiki editing.  Socialtext Signals amplifies, clarifies and complements other collaboration activities, eliminating the need for playing "email volleyball" with attachments and allowing coworkers to transparently work and collaborate on common goals

So basically they integrated the whole suite together.

I will get some screenshots but here is what I liked form the demos:
  • your "friend" list, or those you follow, gets automatically populated by those you have wiki project spaces with
  • you able able to add new friends outside of the wiki spaces easily
  • when receiving notice about new content through Signals, you only see notices for content you can see.  What a time saver and use of the technologies bundled together
  • You also get notices on changes to profiles, comments and blog posts.  So basically with the two together you get not only activities but their conversation.

Currently in Twitter, you spend enormous time building a friend and follower list and then finding the right content.  By integrating the existing capability seamlessly with Signals, Socialtext skips much of the building phase and brings the reality of enterprise micro-blogging immediately into the platform.

I prompted them for a few things I would like to see included to further ease the true integration of the public and enterprise 2.o world, they are getting a head start on the competition with Signals.

This is an open beta that you can download and play with here.

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