Cogenz – bookmarking for the enterprise

I’ve been using a beta version of Cogenz’s social bookmarking service. First and foremost, Cogenz is different from public bookmarking sites in that organizations can get a “silo” for their users to post bookmarks into, thereby fulfilling the “enterprise” part of their pitch. Because I’m the only one using this at SAP (as far as I know), my silo is pretty narrow so I really can’t talk about the utility effect generated by having multiple people within one organization use the service.

Administrators have a nice degree of control over how much of the Cogenz functionality to expose to users in their silo, and the ability to restrict access to specific IP ranges. As one would also expect, there are usage statistics features but in all honesty I didn’t see any of this in action so I can’t comment on it.

I would imagine that some organizations would want to have a locally installed version of Cogenz, but it’s not clear to me whether or not they intend on delivering an on-premise implementation. Personally, I think they would be better off avoiding this option and sticking with the hosted model. Behind the firewall issues are non-issues because you are just posting bookmarks as opposed to content itself, and because the integrity of your firewall is intact no security exposure is realized, with the exception that there could be aggregate metadata scraped off the bookmarks and that may provide some exposure but even in that case it’s pretty thin (and would be a lot of work for someone to do this with only the promise that they would get something that is of limited value at best).

It appears that the single biggest value to having multiple people within an enterprise bookmarking on Cogenz is that there is a degree of social networking realized in that tags can be associated with people and areas of interest/expertise identified as a result. This is potentially very powerful but only when some undetermined critical mass is achieved, and even then only if there is some degree of comprehensiveness to the tags applied to each bookmark. Having said all that, this is challenge is certainly not unique to Cogenz, but rather is applied to the entire category.

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There are all the usual tools available in Cogenz, including the ability to post private bookmarks, subscribe to bookmark “spaces”, and use RSS for updates. There are bookmarklets for easier posting (although they work in Firefox they did not work in Camino… I have no idea what the deal is with IE). The ease of posting is one area that all of these tools could be seriously enhanced. Bookmarklets are fine but at some point power users want a dedicated client applications to manage the process. I love using Cocoalicious to manage my del.icio.us bookmarks, and even the Del.icio.us Firefox extension is far better than a simple bookmarklet. Integration with the browser search bar is also a must have feature in my opinion, but given the early version that Cogenz exists as right now it doesn’t surprise me that this is not yet available.

Lastly, one very smart feature in Cogenz is the ability to simultaneously post to del.icio.us. The reason I like this is that it means you are not abandoning your investment in one service to pick up another. The simple fact is that del.icio.us is the largest repository of user generated bookmarks and tags, the ability to integrate with that service is a no-brainer. I would like to next see the ability to consume del.icio.us tags into Cogenz.

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