Socialtext 3.0 unveiled

The enterprise wiki company is adding features and enhanced integration to its social networking tool

Ross Mayfield , founder of Socialtext, unveiled this week version 3.0 of his company's enterprise wiki, which promises to make the corporate directory a social networking tool for the workplace.

Socialtext 3.0 adds Socialtext People and Socialtext Dashboard  to the stew plus enhancements to the Socialtext Workspace platform.

[ For more on wikis in the enterprise see Dos and don'ts for managing IT projects with wikis .]

Socialtext People connects user profiles to LDAP or Microsoft Active Directory systems, enabling users to search for and find experts who are outside of their current social network group. Users can also subscribe to the activities of these experts to remain current with their latest work.

Socialtext Dashboard integrates with Workspace to put  alerts of colleague activities in a work-related context so that the recipient knows who is signaling and why.

Dashboard is customizable using the REST API , which allows users to receive updates from enterprise business applications like SAP or Salesforce automatically. For example, if inventory is delivered to the warehouse, Dashboard can send an automated alert to the sales force that is awaiting news of that important event.

Dashboard also gives users a window into online conversations happening on the network.

Socialtext Workspace is a significant upgrade, according to company executives, with improved navigation tools, tighter integration with Dashboard and People.

Jeff Herz, vice president, technical product management at MKTG , a marketing and communications company that uses the current version of Socialtext, said he is looking forward to version 3.0 because of the People module.

"It will allow us to track information on individual users," said Herz.

Scott Abel , whose blog, Content Wrangler, is targeted at content management professionals, said the newest version is an important step toward bringing all of the various social networking applications onto a common platform.

"Version 2.0 makes it possible to create solutions in an agile way with a Twitter page, a Myspace page, plus a social network from your job, but it all worked differently," said Abel.

The integration of many of these tools on a single platform will mean it is more likely for people in the workplace to interact on more levels, which in turn will make them more productive.

"Cubicle farms where companies put the same people in adjacent cubicles didn't do anything to tear the silos down. By weaving all of this together, it will help foster communications," Abel said.

SocialText 3.0 is available online now at a cost of $10 per month per user.

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