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5/18/2011
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Jive Facebook Connector Links Business Fans, Customers

Jive's software cross-posts comments between a company's website and its Facebook page.

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Jive Software is deepening its Facebook integration with this week's release of the Jive Facebook Connector, which lets fans of a Facebook page talk with members of a community on another website.

"The core concept is we wanted to expose bi-directionally branded conversations from a company's community website on Facebook, and vice versa," Adam Mertz, senior product marketing manager at Jive, said in an interview.

Facebook Connector is an add-on to the core Jive user engagement platform. Jive users who offer their customers a Web community for discussions and support can now add that same functionality to their Facebook business pages. The Jive community content is displayed as a separate tab, rather than integrating directly with The Wall, Facebook's native method for ad hoc communication. However, it is possible to recommend or like an item and have a link to it displayed in your activity stream.

By plugging its own user interface into a Facebook tab, Jive also ensures that all the same interactive capabilities are available to both Facebook users and website users. Conversations started in Facebook can continue in the community on a company's website, or bounce back and forth between the two. Members of the two communities can also converse with each other without necessarily having an account on the other system.

Ultimately, all of the content is published to the company's website, and that's particularly important to companies using community-generated content as part of a search engine optimization strategy, Mertz said. "Conversations that start on Facebook on the wall are not searchable by Google because Facebook uses no-follow links," meaning that posts are specifically tagged as content that should not be indexed, he said.

Facebook Connector hasn't shown up yet on Jive's own Facebook page, but Mertz said Jive is in the process of retooling that page in conjunction with the upcoming release of Jive version 5.0. But the Facebook Connector is available now, independent of the 5.0 release.

Jive customers interested in using this utility include NetApp, the storage appliance company. "Jive is offering the perfect solution to a problem we've been actively trying to solve--the ability to connect our Facebook communities to our customer community, built on Jive," John Summers, online community manager at NetApp said in a statement.

Businesses have myriad technology options for pulling together people and ideas. But getting it right still isn't easy. Also in the new all-digital issue of InformationWeek SMB: A UC champion's survival guide. Download it now. (Free registration required.)

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