NewsGator Upgrades Social Sites With Microblogging

NewsGator's Social Sites, an enterprise social-networking complement to Microsoft's SharePoint Server 2007, now features Twitter-like microblogging capabilities tailored for workplace communications.

Social Sites 3.0's new microblogging feature is integrated into the activity stream that end-users see on their profiles, so that the Twitter-like messages can be commented on, replied to and searched for, NewsGator announced on Tuesday.

"It's kind of a nice adaptation of the normal microblogging, which is just text messages being sent back and forth," said Brian Kellner, NewsGator's vice president of products.

The new version of Social Sites also includes a new component called Socialpedia, which is designed to extend and enhance SharePoint Server 2007's wiki feature.

Socialpedia can take stock of all wikis created in SharePoint, build tag clouds, generate tables of content and let end-users rate wikis and edit them using an AJAX interface.

"It's augmentation for the SharePoint wiki," Kellner said. "We've made the wiki itself friendlier and more powerful."

Social Sites 3.0 also features Knowledge Explorer, which identifies employees' areas of expertise and presents the information graphically via tag clouds. The idea is to make it easier for colleagues to find out who specializes in what topics or tasks.

"We figure that out based on the content they create, what others do to that content, like tagging, rating and saving it, the questions they've answered, the tags they've used and the ideas that person has generated," Kellner said.

Social Sites is sold on a perpetual license basis that runs from US$20 to $120 per user depending upon volume of licenses purchased.

Social Sites, which only works in tandem with SharePoint Server 2007, is one of an emerging type of enterprise collaboration product that attempts to recreate the experience of social-networking sites like Facebook, but adapted for workplace communication.

As such, these enterprise social-networking products have IT administration, management and security features, as well as capabilities designed for the type of collaboration and sharing of information that occurs among co-workers.

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