Putting People in Software

Those of you following this blog have probably noticed a dearth of posts about Socialtext. If you’ve followed Ross Mayfield, Techcrunch and Mashable this morning, you now know why – Socialtext is putting people into wikis. I’ve been itching to talk about this, as has my associate Scott Schnaars, who put together a succinct description of both products launched today. ZDnet writer D.A. Howlett put together the most comprehensive view of the Socialtext People strategy I’ve seen in the media thus far.

The products we’re launching today are “Socialtext People” and “Socialtext Dashboards”

Socialtext Dashboards provide a top level summary view of knowledge both external and internal to the organization. The dashboards provides a widget driven, netvibes-like interface providing an easily accessible feed to conversation streams such as blogs, twitter feeds, and other social objects.

Socialtext People is social networking built for enterprise use. Socialtext now provides people pages atop the wiki environment, allowing you to see a person’s entire conversation ecosystem: blogs posts, twitter tweets, wiki posts, and feeds the person reads. Adam Ostrow describes it as “”business-ish Facebook”, but a deeper peruse will reveal far more. Socialtext people allows making connection and following “people feeds” not based n self-selected criteria (“I like snowboarding, etc”) but rather on actual work history.

That’s an evolutionary change worth repeating: connections are made based on actual work done. Not only are you able to see tags identifying subjects of interest to the person, but you’re also able to see who they’ve collaborated with and are able to extend your social ecosystem to match their own. Twitter users should intuitively recognize the ability to extend your social network by following a interesting person, and then follow those persons the interesting person follows

Ultimately an enterprise solution is only as good as the technology + people + strategy of course. There’s a comprehensive and systematic process we’ve adopted for success, which revolves around four potential usage scenarios

Collaborative Intelligence for sales and marketing, as implemented for market leaders including Humana and SAP

Participatory Knowledgebase for service and support, as implemented for market leaders including Symantec and Microstrategy

Flexible Client Collaboration for professional services, as implemented for market leaders including MWW Group and CoActive Marketing Group

Business Social Networks for partners and customers, as implemented for market leaders including United Business Media and Epitaph Records

In short, there is a strategy and a method based approach for optimal adoption and knowledge diffusion which is driven by however clients define success. For example, success as defined by Humana means providing revenue-driven personnel with the information they need to acquire new clients. Socialtext wikis and Socialtext people provide the infrastructure for synthesis of twitter feeds, rss feeds, and blog posts providing a holistic picture of a prospect for sales personnel, while Socialtext Dashboards provide sales management with a meaningful view of activity which drives higher conversion rates.

If you’re going to be at the Web 2.0 Expo, drop by and say hello. I’ll be happy to show you what the buzz is all about.

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This entry was published on April 17, 2008 at 10:39 AM. It’s filed under Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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