Thursday, July 03, 2008

How would you start out sourcing social networking tools?

I've been looking around at some of the interesting social networking tools that are coming onto the market, such as Webjam, for some that could be rapidly implemented within our firewall.

I apply some fairly rigorous criteria. Any system must:
  1. Meet W3C, Federal, Department and Agency web standards
  2. Support at least AA accessibility (and preferably AAA)
  3. Meet our ICT requirements for interoperability, stability, bandwidth use and technology platform
  4. Integrate with our identification system
  5. Be server lite
  6. Track usage by user
For blog platforms, they must also:
  1. Support both individual and team blogs
  2. Allow us to centrally control who can set up a blog
  3. Be template based
  4. Support WYSYWG editing
  5. Integrate with an image management tool
  6. Support comment moderation (on or off)
  7. Incorporate email as well as RSS/ATOM notifications
For wiki/collaborative group platforms, they must also:
  1. Allow us to centrally control who can set up a wiki
  2. Be template based
  3. Support WYSYWG editing
  4. Integrate an image management tool
  5. Incorporate email as well as RSS/ATOM notifications
For forums, they must also:
  1. Support multiple admin and moderation levels (discussion/forum/global)
  2. Allow us to centrally control who can set up a forum or discussion group
  3. Be template based
  4. Support WYSYWG editing
  5. Incorporate email as well as RSS/ATOM notifications
  6. Support both threaded and unthreaded discussions

There's some other criteria as well, but I don't have them immediately in front of me.

Fortunately I've found Jeremiah Owyang's post on a List of “White Label” or “Private Label” (Applications you can Rebrand) Social Networking Platforms

The good news - it lists around 80 'white-label' social networking products available in the market.

The bad news - it's now 12 months old. More than half of the products on the list are likely to have disappeared or changed names, and there's likely to be double that number of new players (again like Webjam).

So I'm now thinking about my best course in finding a product that is stable, reliable, and will be in the market for at least a few years - at a low price point with great functionality.

Any pointers?

3 comments:

  1. We've got a product which we've seen some interest from some Aus. Gov agencies. See http://me.edu.au/p/nlothian for currently functionality.

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  2. Thanks Nick, it looks interesting.

    I'm also taking a look at Blogtronix at the moment.

    At the end of the day the rules of engagement at our agency are that business areas can come up with the issues/requirements, but ICT must come up with the solutions - so we'll see how it goes...

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  3. Your requirement to except email as a transactional method is an interesting and generally poorly supported one, though recent twitter clone Posterous fits that bill. Most systems don't. Also, a great number of open-source blogging and wiki tools meet all your requirements (as long as you code them up to do so).
    MySource Matrix, out of the box, probably fills most of the the gaps. But it's been 12 months... what did you find?

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