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Enterprise 2.0: Socialtext Targets Information Barriers

The company's latest software revision, 4.5, tries to make business information more accessible.

Enterprise social software company Socialtext on Monday introduced a new version of its business-oriented social networking software that strives to accelerate interaction and communication across corporate boundaries.

Socialtext 4.5 provides familiar social networking features like activity streams, user profile pages, instant messaging, group creation, workspaces, blogging, and user-defined control panels in a framework that integrates with traditional enterprise CRM and ERP systems.

The latest iteration of the software adds a capability called Socialtext Explore which simplifies information discovery. It provides a way for users to navigate the vast quantities of blog posts, messages, images and files that get shared by searching metadata.

The software "makes it easier for you not just to share but to curate and explore your people and content," explained Ross Mayfield, chairman, president & co-founder of Socialtext, in a phone briefing.

Socialtext Explore allows users to filter their activity streams by data type and tags. These tags can be created by content creators or added by other users. This helps bring disparate pools of data into a single, searchable lake, so to speak.

Mayfield insists this is valuable because information workers waste one day per week looking for people and information. "We've found four or five different surveys that back that up," he said in a phone interview. "It is literally is 20% of their time [being wasted looking for information]. That's something we can cut into. It's a way of describing the value of social software at a very high level."

The 4.5 release also brings new access to data through the availability of a connector. The connector allows Socialtext users to specify which actions should appear in their activity streams. This lets a sales group, for example, expose customer-related activity for the benefit of the entire organization.

Socialtext previously released a connector for Microsoft SharePoint, and provides an integration layer called Socialtext Connect that allows customers to build their own connectors to enterprise applications.

Socialtext is exhibiting at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference, which runs from Monday, November 8, through Thursday, November 11.

The Enterprise 2.0 Conference is operated by UBM TechWeb, which owns InformationWeek.

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