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6/25/2008
09:29 PM
Alexander Wolfe
Alexander Wolfe
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Video: Socialtext Turns Wiki Into Killer Web Platform

I'm big on community-centric sites as the next Web wave. My three regular readers know that from my recent post, Joomla Rocks, Or How To Build A Professional Web Site For No Money Down. While Joomla is indeed fantastic, there's another platform that's probably better out of the box for corporate users. It's called Socialtext, and I've got a video with company chairman Ross Mayfield to show you the high p

I'm big on community-centric sites as the next Web wave. My three regular readers know that from my recent post, Joomla Rocks, Or How To Build A Professional Web Site For No Money Down. While Joomla is indeed fantastic, there's another platform that's probably better out of the box for corporate users. It's called Socialtext, and I've got a video with company chairman Ross Mayfield to show you the high points.Socialtext is actually one of a several platforms vying to become either the host or the software behind community-based Web sites, which are now being rolled out at an incredible clip at vendors and publishers alike. Among the commercial offerings, Clearspace is probably the popular community package.

The difference between the Socialtext and Clearspace is that the former is sold as a hosted-service model or running on a (hardware) appliance which is installed behind the user's firewall. Clearspace takes the more traditional model of user-installed software, and is also pretty much the successor to the popular Jive forums platform. (Indeed, Clearspace is made by the company Jive Software.)

The other big point of differentiation is that Socialtext specializes in setting up wikis, which are deployed inside individual enterprises and typically used to help project teams coordinate their efforts. From Socialtext's case studies page, you can see that this kind of stuff is being done by Kodak, Nokia, and Boston College.

Clearspace tends to be more outwardly focused, and is the community platform behind Web sites fielded by VMware, Dell, and SAP, to name a few.

I've gone with Socialtext for this video because company chairman Mayfield is a particularly dynamic speaker, and I think you'll get a sense of the excitement he brings to the field. I caught up with Ross at the recent Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston. In the video, he's spotlighting a new feature called SocialCalc, which is a collaborative, wiki-based spreadsheet developed by Dan Bricklin, of VisiCalc fame.

I hope to have a Clearspace video in the near future. The main takeaway, regardless of which platform you're talking about, is that the new Web watchwords are: community, community, community. This was the original promise of the Web, and, because life is indeed a circle, it's where I'm convinced the online world is headed in the next 12 to 24 months. Here now the video:

What's your take on the collaborative Web? Let me know, by leaving a comment below or e-mailing me directly at alex@alexwolfe.net.

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