ConnectBeam – enterprise social bookmarking

Yesterday I wrote about Cogenz, a social bookmarking service targeting the enterprise. Another company that I am familiar with and have been using is ConnectBeam, which is the subject of today’s post.

ConnectBeam’s UI is more complex but it’s also doing a little more in an attempt to organize your bookmarks. This service revolves around the notion of “workspaces” which are basically collections of bookmarks. This is very logical but I see potential issues with this approach, which I’ll go into more detail later.

In addition to my own workspaces I can also see and post bookmarks to my colleagues workspaces. Again, this is social bookmarking for the enterprise. While I think it’s cool that I can see the bookmarks that my colleagues are capturing, what is missing in the social networking features that I saw in Cogenz which took all that co-worker data and made assumptions about their interests relative to yours; this is a feature I would really like to see in ConnectBeam.

I mentioned earlier that I saw potential issues with the workspace/collections model, these are realized in the posting bookmarklet (which did work in Camino). The first question I thought when posting to the workspace is that I could also post to workspaces that my colleagues had created… but what if there were several workspaces that were maintained by separate people and all with the same name? It seems to me that having workspaces in addition to tags introduces redundancy that can lead to confusion.

Speaking of the bookmarklet, there was one behavior of this script that I would like to see adjusted. Like many of these posting tools, the script captures some text from the page in question to be posted in the “notes” field, unfortunately, the ConnectBeam bookmarklet doesn’t capture text from the post but rather from the page as a whole. When posting something from this blog the script captures and pastes in text from the sidebar as opposed to the post body. This should be a simple issue to correct, but adding intelligence to the posting bookmarklet would be appreciated by users. I would also like to see all of these posting bookmarklets suggest possible tags (check out Tagyu for more detail on this approach).

ConnectBeam features good searching, in your workspace or across your company. There are the usual RSS features, profile settings, and basic analytics.

Lastly, SAP employees can use ConnectBeam today, the company has made the sap.com domain available in the self-registration form. What that means is that you can sign up for a user id today and begin posting and as more SAP employees use the service you will see their workspaces in addition to your own.

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New Blog Alert: Information Arbitrage

Roger Ehrenberg is hosting a new blog focusing on the investment business (the Wall St. kind as opposed to the VC kind). Lot’s of interesting “inside baseball” discussion, especially in the comments. Hopefully he will add me to his blogroll now :)

Information Arbitrage: Convergence Redux:

I was interested to discover that one of my old Deutsche Bank colleagues, Ralph Reynolds, will be heading this new hedge fund initiative at Carlyle. I also happen to know that Carlyle has been toying around with this initiative for at least three years, and have a keen perspective on why things didn’t work the first time around. All that said, I think this issue of Hedge Fund/Private Equity convergence comes down to two fundamental issues – culture and compensation.

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