Socialtext will announce the new version of its enterprise social media suite, Socialtext 4.5, today at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Santa Clara. The new release includes a connector for Salesforce.com, which will pipe activity streams from Salesforce.com into Socialtext. While Salesforce.com has been working to give Chatter users the ability to follow lots of information streams within the Salesforce.com/Force.com ecosystem, not all organizations are going to want to use Chatter their primary social platform. Also new in this release is Socialtext Explore, a new way for users to browse status updates by metadeta. For example, users could search and filter streams based on date, tag, content source (Salesforce.com, SharePoint, etc.), whether it contains a link, etc.
Socialtext launched Socialtext Connect last summer with its SharePoint connector, but users can create their own connectors as well. For example, Socialtext co-founder Ross Mayfield cites the example of a book publisher that built a connector for its ERP software. When inventory is low for a particular title, it generates a status update (called a “signal” is Socialtext) that shows up in Socialtext. Mayfield says that Socialtext uses connectors for Bugzilla and WordPress.
Socialtext’s private SocialDev community shares custom-built connectors and best practices. Those interested in joining SocialDev can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
When asked if Socialtext might be creating an app store for connectors, Mayfield said “I don’t want to call it an app store until it’s fully stocked.”
You can read our report, sponsored by Socialtext, on the “social layer” and web oriented architecture here.
Socialtext Explore is a particularly timely service given our recent conversations about information overload. Giving users different ways to find and filter information may help ease the overload problem, but only if it’s well implemented. Personally, I’d like to see a multi-column interface like TweetDeck and Seesmic, where users can set columns for different applications, user groups, etc. I’ve also been impressed with the efforts of Socialcast and SimplyBox to bring activity streams into other applications.