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    Introducing Socialtext 6.0

    We’re excited to announce the availability of Socialtext 6.0. Socialtext 6.0 enhances functionality for micro-blogging, social networking, content creation, expertise location and video capabilities, and simplifies users’ ability to share expertise, ideas and corporate data to foster collaboration and drive new business opportunities.

    This latest version of Socialtext includes the following enhancements:

    • New video technology
    • Enhanced Activity Stream features
    • Unified search functionality
    • Updated People and Groups directory
    • New header and redesigned Dashboard

    To read the full press release, click here and watch the video below to see Socialtext 6.0 in action.

    Socialtext Broadens Integration Capabilities with Microsoft SharePoint

    We’re excited to announce our enhanced integration with Microsoft SharePoint. This enhanced integration enables Socialtext users to upload, view, and edit PowerPoint, Excel, and Word files within a browser window, in the Socialtext platform. This means that all of your documents can now be stored in SharePoint, but are easily and searchable, through Socialtext. As with any of our standard connectors, it takes just a couple easy steps to set up, and then allows for instant, seamless integration.

    To read more about the integration capabilities, click here.

    Socialtext Free Trial is Live!

    If you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably noticed significant changes over the last few months: Lots of fresh new faces, energy, content, and announcements.

    This week, we made a particularly visible change: We introduced a free 30-day trial of Socialtext. Sign up directly from the website, and you’ll be up and running in just a couple minutes.

    We’re tremendously excited about the trial–not only because it’s already bringing in more customers, but also because of what it reveals about our underlying philosophy.

    Going back to its founding as the first enterprise social software company, Socialtext has always had the most ambitious agenda you can have: We wanted to change the world. (That may sound hokey, but if you can’t have hokey aspirations in Silicon Valley, where can you?). We have consistently aspired to integrate social so deeply into the flow of work that we would make professional life more interesting, social, rewarding, and productive for every employee, every day.

    The boldness of that vision led us to create a powerful and flexible product. Whereas most enterprise social vendors focus on point solutions to “sprinkle some social” on the enterprise, Socialtext has embraced a comprehensive product vision: Social intranet, collaborative workspaces, groups, enterprise profiles, social networking, microblogging, spreadsheets, etc.

    The result is an unbelievably powerful and versatile tool.

    But as Uncle Ben says in Spider Man: With great power comes great responsibility.

    Having built a powerful product, we have a responsibility to make that product easy to use. So easy, for example, that a new user could be up, running, and productive in just a minute or two.

    The trial is a forcing mechanism. It forced us to launch an experience which is not only powerful, but also engages a Socialtext newbie–whether they’re a new trial user, a new customer, or a new hire in a company that’s been using Socialtext for years. And it’s not a one-and-done kind of thing. We’re an agile shop and we are constantly enhancing the Socialtext product to make it even more powerful. The trial evolves with the product.

    Over the next weeks and months you’ll be seeing more major product announcements from us. The trial will continue to be our litmus test. As we make the product even more powerful, we will make the trial experience even simpler.

    I hope you’re as excited as we are.

    And oh yeah…you should try it.

     

    Photo Credit: Joost Nelissen (cc)

    Socialtext 5.0

    Last week we announced Socialtext 5.0, which includes an improved look and feel, a brand new editor for creating pages, and perhaps my favourite new feature since we introduced Signals… Page Creator and Page Tracker.

    If you missed the launch event you can watch a replay here.

    The following video provides a 3 minute overview of some of the new features.

    You can also see several screenshots on Flickr, or if you prefer you can view (and download) this set of slides.

     

    As VP of Engineering Shampa Banerjee explained during the launch event, this is just the first stage of Socialtext 5.0 with a lot more coming over the next few releases. We hope you enjoy the improvements, and as always would love to hear your feedback.

     

     

    Socialtext introduces Socialtext 5 – welcome to the power, the ease and the flow of the future!

    We here at Socialtext have all been rubbing our hands together eagerly in anticipation of the ST5 release for several months …. and the day has finally arrived!  What, you might be asking yourself, is all the noise about?  This release marks an evolution for Socialtext that has been some time coming, bringing together the combined suggestions of our most inspired customers, genius designs from Tangible UX and the force of nature that is our development team.

    We have taken what has always been the most flexible, elegant Enterprise Social Software platform and elevated it to new heights.  This release sees a complete overhaul of the user interface, introduces a world-class rich text editor and a barrel-load of other features that make Socialtext more accessible, social and successful than ever before.

    We know you’re going to love this release as much as we do, but it’s just the beginning for the awesome work that is coming your way this year. The 5.0 release takes us closer to 100% HTML5, greatly simplifies content organization, incorporates the power of a deep partner module with IntroNetworks’ SocialRadar, and paves the way for mobile applications – we’re cutting a path ahead of us in Social Software with innovative, enterprise class features and a proven adoption methodology that equals an unbeatable combination.  Care to join us?

    Socialtext Adds Page-Likes and An Awesome Page Tracker Widget

    This past weekend Socialtext 4.7.3 was made available to all our customers.  It introduces several new features that will help you share, discover and manage content like never before.

    I Like That!

    A new “Like” button has been added to Socialtext workspace pages, enabling people to indicate to their colleagues which content they like the most. Hovering your mouse over the Like button displays a list of the people that have liked the page. The new Like features are also available via workspace views and search results, both of which can be sorted so that the most liked pages are displayed at the top of the list.

    Page Likes

    Flexible Project Management

    The new Page Tracker widget provides a graphical way to display links to Socialtext workspace pages. The widget uses columns to organize pages based on a series of tags. There are a variety of uses for the Page Tracker widget, including project management, workflow processes such as accounts payable, organizing marketing material and more. The image below provides an example of how the widget can be used for task management, where the columns display links to pages representing tasks in their various stages and priorities. The Page Tracker widget can be embedded into a wiki page, Group home page or Socialtext Dashboard.

    Page Tracker Widget - Displayed On A Wiki Page

    Additional Socialtext 4.7.3 Screenshots showcasing Page-Likes and the Page Tracker widget are available on the web.

    What Time Is It?

    Prior to this release, you had to define the timezone in each workspace you belong to. Now there is a single global setting that covers all your workspaces, plus all time formats now include the year. From inside any workspace, click settings at the top right, then on the left click My Workspaces, then Preferences-Time.

    I know you’re going to enjoy using these new features along with the other improvements this release provides.

    Angry Beans Take Flight At Enterprise 2.0 Boston

    Now that I’ve recovered from last week’s Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston, I wanted to take a moment and thank Steve Wylie and the entire UBM TechWeb team for putting on another great event. While the Hines Convention Center did feel like a cavernous maze at times, overall this was a much better location than those used in previous years.

    At the show we made two announcements:
    1) A new product offering that delivers introNetworks’ powerful Visual Matching Engine™ inside Socialtext‘s enterprise social networking platform. At our booth we highlighted how introNetworks can help people find colleagues with matching skills, passions and experience. This is just the start, stay tuned for more information about Socialtext and introNetworks integration.
    2) Socialtasks, a flexible project management tool that makes it easy to create and manage Socialtext pages.

    To add some fun to the showcase floor, we introduced Angry Beans, our version of the popular game corn-hole. As you can see in the pictures below, it was a lot of fun. There were some very skilled players and some others that… well they had a good time.

    Socialtext Integrates introNetworks Visual Matching Engine To Help Connect Colleagues

    Socialtext announced a new product offering today that delivers introNetworks’ powerful Visual Matching Engine™ inside Socialtext’s enterprise social networking platform. This robust integration improves people’s ability to pull together relevant colleagues and solve business challenges together in real-time.

    The integration includes 3 new widgets for use in Socialtext:

    • Social Radar: This visualization of a user’s best matches can be placed on a Dashboard, embedded in a Profile, and used on Group pages to show how the members of a Group are all related to each other by Skills, Passions, Experience and Interests.
    • Attribute Selector: This interactive tool gives users the ability to not only select attributes that describe themselves but specify how important each attribute is. When words are ranked from Important to Most Important, the embedded engine can make extremely precise matches.
    • Profile Attributes: This embeddable widget shows how users describe themselves using the Attribute Selector and which ones they have in common with the person viewing their Profile. Used to help find common interests and subject matter experts, this simple and powerful visualization is a key addition to the Profile page.

    More information about each component can be found on the introNetworks site.

     

    The Socialtext Virtual Appliance: Leveraging Social Software in Your Private Cloud

    Socialtext has always had a unique business model. On one hand, we’re a SaaS company through and through. By that, I simply mean that our contracts are recurring every year. Much like a magazine subscription, if people are happy with our work, they renew. If we fail to deliver on their critical requirements and ensure they derive value from social software, customers take their business elsewhere.

    But unlike other SaaS companies, we’re not cloud zealots in the traditional sense. Since we’ve been delivering enterprise social software longer than any company in this space, we know IT has strict requirements that dictates the critical information shared on Socialtext be stored securely behind the firewall in their private cloud. We understand the requirements for synchronizing with corporate directories, providing single-sign-on solutions and integration with other enterprise applications.

    Today’s announcement that you can run Socialtext on VMware is meant to support that freedom of choice and convenience. It complements our existing deployment options, which includes traditional hosting (single or multi-tenant), and a secure appliance box that hooks into a company’s existing infrastructure.

    The best part: No matter if our customers choose the Socialtext cloud or their own private cloud, they receive all the updates and upgrades from us. Just because you want your data on-site doesn’t mean you should have a high total cost of ownership that sucks up IT resources, time, and money.

    We also think VMware really helps companies leverage their computing resources as they scale social software throughout the enterprise. The elastic way in which you can scale VMware made it a perfect fit for the Socialtext virtual appliance, and we were delighted to have them join us in today’s news.

    We love giving our customers choices, and the Virtual Appliance is another option in the Socialtext arsenal that we’re really proud of.

    Where Is Everybody? Moving Intranets from Static to Social

    Making corporate intranets social is the main theme of Socialtext 4.6, which we announced today. The focus originated from my favorite source of insight: Our customers. I love it when they hit you over the head with use cases that emerge inside their companies.

    Starting several months ago, we noticed an exciting pattern amidst many of newer customers: Their usage and adoption rates were accelerating on a curve previously unseen by us, or, frankly, most Enterprise 2.0 use cases for that matter.

    Interestingly, several of these customers didn’t have grandiose plans of transforming their intranet. They merely sought to leverage social software to solve specific pain points their businesses faced. They were engaging in what our VP of customer success, Michael Idinopulos, would refer to as “In the flow of work” collaboration. They also wanted to eliminate knowledge and information silos that hampered business performance. In one case, the head of worldwide sales tasked about 200 people from his team, product marketing, and sales ops to improve training materials and product launches. In another case, we saw a broad, horizontal deployment to modernize knowledge sharing across disparate teams and functions.

    But after launching these focused deployments, word spread fast.

    Why?

    Other employees looked at their intranets and realized what it was missing: People.

    Pretty soon, employees outside the targeted usage groups at these companies started asking why they couldn’t have the same easy-to-use social applications in their intranet. Why did they have to tolerate the static, frustrating, and out-of-date intranet that was in place?

    We’ve seen two results from their requests. Some of our customers have actually replaced the front door to their intranet with Socialtext – particularly with Socialtext Dashboard as the starting point. Dashboard allows people to not only access tools within Socialtext to connect with colleagues and share content, but they can also access other systems, applications and sites across their company. Others, though it wasn’t their intention at the onset, scrapped their intranet entirely and moved to Socialtext. These customers have transformed the look and feel of their intranet by injecting social patterns into it. Employees can share via microblogging, self-publish through blogs, collaborate on wikis, and form groups across organizational boundaries.

    Meanwhile, my team also noticed a trend in the language used by our sales prospects. They began hearing phrases like “Our intranet stinks” or “No one can find anything in our intranet.” Just yesterday, I talked with the CIO of a large company who said, “We call our intranet ‘The Junk Drawer.’” Last month, we did a webinar called “Your Social Intranet – The Place Where Work Gets Done.” During the event, we ran a fun contest to see who could propose the funniest David Letterman-style “Top 10 ways you know your Intranet needs updating.” The visceral and sarcastic nature of the submissions we received speaks volumes about people’s frustration with current intranets. (More on that in future posts.)

    So the new features that we’ve rolled up into Socialtext 4.6 are really the result of focusing our development and innovation through this lens – helping make your intranet more social. We’re doing as much as we can to make PEOPLE be a first-class object in your intranet. As a result, we can make the intranet be a place where people go to get work done together — not just a place to try to find information, documents, and application links.

    About This Blog

    Weblog on gaining business results from social software.

    On this blog, Socialtext staffers and customers explore how companies can gain the most business value from their use of enterprise social software, including microblogging, social networking, filtered activity streams, widget-based dashboards, blogs and wikis.

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