Collaborage: SharePoint and Social Software

Through my colleague Roberto D’Angelo, I came across the blog of Todd Stephens. He is the Technical Director of the Collaboration and Online Services for the AT&T Corporation and clearly a Microsoft / SharePoint enthusiast. His blog Collaborage is all about Enterprise 2.0 related topics ..

In his post about SharePoint and Social Software he makes a good assessment of SharePoint capabilities in this area …

… After my fifth phone call and email on this topic, I think it’s time to create an informative post on a confusing topic. Can Sharepoint and Social Software exist in the same environment or must you choose one or the other. The first step in answering this question is to layout a framework for the components of Enterprise 2.0 and see how Sharepoint matches up. Using Dion Hinchcliff’s model as a guide here are the basic components.

The percentages are my assessment of how Sharepoint matches up from a functionality point of view.

– Weblog (80%)

– Wiki (70%)

– Collaboration 2.0 (100%)

– Social Tagging (20%)

– Predictive Markets (20%)

– Professional Profiles (70% wss and 150%* with MOSS)

– Document Management (90%)

Clearly, the main benefit of going with Sharepoint for all of these elements is the integration and centralized environment. However, if your company is going to go with the best of breed then you may look toward other solutions.

Source: SharePoint and Social Software
Date originally published: Wed, 22 Aug 2007 17:21:31 GMT

Peter de Haas
Peter de Haas

Peter is gedreven door de eindeloze mogelijkheden die technologische vooruitgang biedt. Met een scherp oog voor het herkennen van oplossingen waar anderen slechts problemen zien, is hij een expert in digitale transformaties. Peter zet zich met volle overgave in om individuen, teams en organisaties te begeleiden bij het ontwikkelen van nieuwe vaardigheden en het implementeren van innovatieve oplossingen.

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2 reacties

  1. Well – this is a bit of a stretch. I agree that it is a strong, unified collaboration and content management platform – there is no mistake about that – but social computing remains a work-in-progress in the platform.
    The blog capability within SharePoint is not as good as WordPress or Moveable Type. The wiki is not as good as Atlassian’s Confluence. If you want a rich hypertext platform then Traction comes to mind as well.There may be some rudimentary tag capability but there is no social bookmark system within the product – people are looking for a delicious-like solution. The social networking is there – but the delay of knowledge network was unfortunate. There is no XML feed aggregation / management system, etc.
    So I would give SharePoint a B+ on the social networking (MySite for user profiles etc, social distance in the search engine etc) but a B- on the blog and a C+ on the wiki and a N/A as a social bookmark system, and XML feed system.Overall a social computing grade of B- comes to mind off the top of my head.
    The plus for SharePoint here is that (1) it will improve in the next release (2) people can enhance the basic social computing capabilities via CodePlex (hopefully they understand the risk associated with that direction) and (3) they avoid tools from multiple vendors or introduce another platform solution that might conflict with a Microsoft-centric approach.
    SharePoint’s strength is for those looking at a platform that is strong in terms of collaboration, search and content management and are willing to accept sub-optimal tools typically classified as “social software” (blogs, wikis, et. al.) and are willing to wait for these tools to improve in a couple of years.

  2. Mike,
    Thanks for this thorough reply. I agree with you on your assessment.
    With regards to the ‘hard core’ social networking functionality MOSS certainly has room for improvement.
    In the case where you compare for example blog functionality to the best of breeds such as workpress and moveable type I even doubt if this is the goal of Microsoft to go that far.
    Certainly Knowledge Network not making it into the current wave is a missed opportunity and I have no doubt that a lot of Social Networking functions will become available in the next release of MOSS.
    As you state, the platform approach of MOSS is strong and I also think that organsiations will not turn on all the lights in thier ’the xmas tree’ at once. There’s plenty of diffrent priorities such as doc collaboration, RTC integration, ECM to focus on, meaning not having state of the art social networking yet is not a missed opportunity …

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