I watched a preview of SocialText 3.0 through a webinar.
Ross Mayfield kicked it off by addressing the problems with email and also with using just wikis. With wikis you get the content, but not the person. The goal is to move from conversations to colleagues. You can discover the social context of the content. In effect you can use the social network as a filter.
The product allows great interlinking of content with people using SocialText People. It allows you to easily organize into groups, gather people and gather their thoughts. When seeing a comment or an edit from a person, you can click on their name or picture and be taken to their full profile.
The profile information has the basics like name, phone number, etc. It also shows you some of the hierarchy, such as who the person reports to. You can use information from a corporate directory as a starting point. You can see the communities that the person is a member. You can also see the person’s blog. Blogs are an integral part of the platform. There is an updates that pull of the stuff the person has been working on lately.
You can also create a list of people you follow. You get the formal structure of the corporate directory, plus the social directory of who this person really works with.
The platform allows you to tag information. Those tags show up on your profile.
Pulling all of this information creates a great repository of expertise that is easier to find and leverage. It also should create stronger relationships within the organization. By pulling that content into one place about a person, you get a search-able page that can be indexed. You do not just find experts, but experts who share. If you are blogging and tagging information on a subject, that is a great indicator of expertise.
SocialText also allows for dashboards that allow you to drop widgets onto a page using SocialText Dashboard. Widgets allow for videos, blog feeds and other useful information from other sites or re-purposes information from other places in the platform. SocialText supports the Google OpenSocial standard for their widgets. This should allow for greater integration with the product.
SocialText People can also be deployed externally on an extranet.
The product is supposed to be released later this month to all hosted customers. The “SocialText People” module is a separate add-on. They offer both a hosted solution and an appliance deployment.