Ross Mayfield, Chairman, President & Co-Founder of Socialtext (news, site) has a question: “What would your company be like with fewer status update emails? If your company had the ability to ask questions openly and get answers without forcing interruptions and could bridge knowledge silos?”

If you’re itching to find out, take a look at the new Socialtext Microblogging Appliance. It’s like Twitter for your Intranet, and it’s only a dollar per user, per month.

Micro? We Think Not

It's often said that good things come in small packages, but the magnitude of microblogging was certainly unpredicted.

Unfortunately, as its popularity level climbs even higher, so do its problems. For example, the brains behind Socialtext point out that IT managers and companies continue to struggle with the number of employees turning to public consumer tools like Twitter, or private hosted tools that don’t let IT control membership, content or company policy.

With their new offering, Socialtext is attempting to remedy this situation. Socialtext Microblogging Appliance is a secure microblogging solution that can be deployed company wide, behind the firewall, with the option to incorporate additional Socialtext products. Will it be a successful alternative?

The Dollar Menu

The dollar menu is pocket friendly, but surely not as initially attractive as the free options out there. We suppose bacon has to be made however, and a single dollar a month per user for microblogging? Not that bad. Of course, dollars add up and if you have a zillion people working within your company, this type of pricing model can get a little hairy. But if you’re a moderately sized joint, Socialtext invites you to check out their new solution and sleep soundly knowing unforeseen, exploding costs won’t be an issue.

Other perks included in the new Socialtext Microblogging Appliance:

  • Optional integration with your directory system (LDAP/Active Directory) for single sign on with your other intranet applications and profile population
  • Rapidly extensible with RESTful APIs, it IS easy to integrate third party applications into a unified Activity Stream or make other applications social
  • Automatic updates and upgrades, so customers get all the benefits of SaaS and onsite deployment combined
  • The option to seemlessly upgrade to the full Socialtext Appliance for Socialtext Workspace, Socialtext Dashboard and SocialCalc

The Free Menu

It appears that Socialtext has been on a mission to save users a buck or two for some time now. Recently the company promoted their Free 50! offer, a free, hosted Socialtext account for up to 50 people per company. The private network includes microblogging, social networking and a shared wiki workspace--everything you'd get with the paid version.

We all know free and extremely options are usually backed by the provider's hope that users will one day pay hard earned cash money to upgrade, and Socialtext is no exception. Check out their pricing chart for Hosted or Secure Onsite Appliance deployment here.

New to the whole Socialtext game? They've got a lot of bait out there; should you decide to bite, here is a good place to start.