Wikipedia defines Social Collaboration as: '(it) refers to processes that help multiple people interact, share information to achieve any common goal. Such processes find their 'natural' environment on the Internet, where collaboration and social dissemination of information are made easier by current innovations.'
With the explosion of social networks and groups, companies started realizing that they needed the same kind of (almost) real-time collaboration around their projects and content. How fast can members collaborate around a document or project can determine the company's long term-success. Alfresco knows that an Enterprise Content Management System needs to provide means for users of the system to collaborate quickly and effectively. Our Share platform has integrated many useful functions such as Wikis, Blogs, etc., that facilitate communication and collaboration amongst team members.
Our upcoming Alfresco 4.0(Swift) version (4th Quarter 2011) will include several enhancements and new collaborative features that will make Social Collaboration easier. I will talk about Swift in detail on a future blog. Today we launched a new blog dedicated to social content collaboration: SocialContent.com where you can read more Alfresco's Social Content and Collaboration.
Micro-blogging is also emerging rapidly as a collaborative strategy. It is blogging in small scale, and exchanging small pieces of info, files, links, videos, etc. Alfresco Share is an extensible platform that can be used for micro-blogging with the addition of plug-ins. One such plug-in is the Alfresco Share Status plug-in, developed by our new Chief Community Officer and Alfresco book author, Jeff Potts (Optaros, Metaversant), which clearly illustrates both the extensibility of the Alfresco platform and how plug-ins like this can be developed to leverage micro-blogging with Alfresco throughout the enterprise. You can check out the project at: http://code.google.com/p/alfresco-share-status/. You can also see a video of this micro-blogging plug-in in action here: http://www.optaros.com/blogs/enterprise-collaboration-alfresco-share-screencast-part-two.
Real-time chat in Alfresco
I recently got asked by a prospect if Alfresco has (or can leverage) any chatting/instant messaging capabilities. I remembered that during The Orlando Alfresco Kickoff in March, someone had enabled a chat inside of a dashlet in Share. I thought that for a demo, this could be an easy way to show chatting/IM inside of Alfresco. It turned out to be a very simple exercise. For this, I used Google Talk Gadget, since it can be framed/embedded in a Dashlet. This is very simple to configure, all you have to do is to add a Web View Dashlet to your site, then configure it to point to the Talk Gadget: