We are seeing a wave of new entries into the collaboration software category which incorporate the new hot web 2.0 applications. Everybody and his brother is building platforms with profiles, blogs, wikis and rss, and depending on which piece the developers know best, that piece is the centerpiece.
The Blogtronix people clearly believe that the Blog shall make you free, but for good measure, they tack on a wiki and some file management. They actually suggest that their software can be used for a customer support center, where customers can make blog posts about whatever their issue is.
At Social Platform, they are in love with the MySpace-style social networking approach, in which for reasons still not entirely clear to us, busy working people will post all kinds of stuff about themselves and then go looking for other people who have similar interests.
Intel Capital is putting together a well-publicized, if not yet extant, effort called SuiteTwo, in which different firms contribute the wiki (Social Text) , the blog (SixApart), the RSS feed (SimpleFeed) and an RSS aggregator (NewsGator) and they are all integrated on a platform by a fifth organization, SpikeSource. Because the publicity effort is trying hard to give all partners equal billing, and because there isn’t an app to look at yet, it’s not clear on which syllable this offering will place the emphasis.
We think that it is the give and take of discussion, as facilitated by excellent discussion software, which drives successful online collaboration, so much so that our discussion engine is the basis for most of our stuff, even our blog and wiki implementation.
It seems to us that the winner in these races will be the organization that can make the best case for having a deep understanding of the collaborative process and how software can be best be implemented to facilitate it.