NewsGator Releases Social Sites 3.0
NewsGator (news, sites) announced the beta release of their SharePoint-based social computing platform, Social Sites 3.0 in late June. At that time they announced two new features: Socialpedia and Knowledge Explorer. With general availability starting today, there's another new feature added to the 3.0 mix: micro-blogging.

Is this enough to make you choose NewsGator over some other SharePoint enabled social computing platform? Here are a couple of other things that may sway you.

Social Sites 3.0 in a Nutshell

There is a lot of functionality in NewsGator's Social Sites. Here's a look:

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NewsGator Social Sites Modules

The three newest modules coming as part of Social Sites 3.0 are micro-blogging, Socialpedia and Knowledge Explorer:

  • Socialpedia: An internal website that leverages SharePoint's improved wiki capabilities inside a Social Site community, functioning as a sort of "wikipedia" for topic based communities.
  • Knowledge Explorer: Based on Microsoft Silverlight, this is a graphical view in the form of an expertise map that shows you all the people knowledgeable on a certain topic. Just click on a topic in the topic map an the graph will appear. These "experts" are even rated.
  • Micro-blogging: Twitter like status updates provide you the ability to tell people what you are doing, alert people to important quick tips or news or comment on someone else's update. You also get searching across statuses or comments, the ability to blog via email and you get an API to integrate your micro-blog into other systems (or vice versa).

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Social Sites Micro-blogging

SharePoint to the Core

If all of these features aren't enough to make you choose Newsgator's Social Sites for your SharePoint implementation, consider this:

Social Sites is the only platform built directly into SharePoint platform. They have a very unique level of integration with SharePoint. As a Gold certified depth management partner, NewsGator is one of six partners whose solution runs on the dedicated version of SharePoint Online (and the only social computing solution) and they are one of 14 partners in the MTC license program, participating in joint designs and testing.

Add to that the 1 million paid enterprise users and you know they are doing something right.

What is NewsGator's Secret?

Brian Kellner, NewsGator’s vice president of products, told CMSWire that there is no value in pure technology. What they do is talk with customers about the use cases. He says it's true that an effective solution needs the basics, but then solutions need to be built on top of those basics to provide true value to the business.

It's true NewsGator Social Sites is not the only social computing platform for SharePoint. And we could spend the better part of our day telling you about them, but we won't.

It still comes down to what functionality you need, what level of SharePoint integration you want/need, what type of relationship the vendor has with Microsoft and who you feel is the best fit with your company.