Social networking startup CollectiveX has just launched a new product called Groupsites. TechCrunch has the details of Groupsites, noting that it's a combination of discussion forums, email lists, calendars and social networks. Groupsites are free to use and there are privacy options. Current use cases include membership groups and clubs, social networks, and company Intranets and workgroups. It's a wide-ranging and flexible product, but essentially it is a DIY social network - similar to services like Ning and PeopleAggregator that we profiled recently.

It might seem like covering your bases to have a product that can be used in so many different ways - by consumers as social networks, by enterprises as workgroups, by clubs as a mix of both. But it reflects the trend of 'the consumerization of the Enterprise'. In the enterprise, social networks have come to be known as groupware. Ebrahim Ezzy wrote an excellent Groupware primer for R/WW back in November. He defined groupware as "applications that facilitate real-time communication, coordination and collaboration amongst groups of people."

He then defined the term 'Social Groupware', meaning "products [that] allow the creation of remotely hosted user-groups, special-interest groups - or any other group of like-minded people who share similar passions, interests and goals." Clearly CollectiveX is one of these types of products. But it has evolved from a product that used to focus only on private groups (most of them professional), to one where the audience is broader and a mix of consumer and enterprise.

I like where CollectiveX is headed, although I'll be interested to see if the product can effectively be branded as both enterprise and consumer. I don't know of many other products which try to cover both use cases, as they usually require difference features. Basecamp for example is a different beast than Facebook. Let us know what you think in the comments.