ThoughtFarmer: a Simple, Social SharePoint

(This is an excerpt from a presentation I did this week to an industry analyst. She wanted our “elevator pitch”, and I decided the simplest way to describe ThoughtFarmer was to compare it with SharePoint, which most of our customers also consider before deciding on us.)

ThoughtFarmer is a simple, social SharePoint.

It’s a SharePoint that people can actually figure out how to use.

And it’s one that puts the social network front-and-center – so everything in the system revolves around people, which makes it so much more useful and interesting.

Virtually every knowledge company with more than 100 employees has an intranet – a place where you can find company news, find a phone number, download a form… but these intranets are suffering with the appearance of department-level wikis and blogs. So the intranet team is saying, “Hey, we still need an intranet, a company portal – but we’re ready to learn from these wikis and blogs. We’re ready to open up the authoring to everyone, and we want to make it social.”

So they’re considering SharePoint for this. Every single one of our customers also considered SharePoint. Intrawest considered SharePoint. But they went with us because ThoughtFarmer is simple, and it’s social.

And almost every one of our customers also uses wiki software and blog software. NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology & the Arts) in London – they also use wiki software and blogging software. But they still need to tie it all together into a single destination that’s set as every employee’s home page – and that’s ThoughtFarmer.

I said it’s a simple SharePoint. How is it simple?

We’ve removed every possible barrier to content contribution:

  • Add a page in 2 clicks
  • Navigation is automatically built for you
  • The new page is listed on the home page as a recent change, by you
  • Add a comment in a click. The author is alerted by email or RSS
  • Add micro-content – Favouriting or rating a page influences search results and improves system quality
  • Add content by email – just send any email to ThoughtFarmer, and it matches the from address with your personal spot on ThoughtFarmer and creates the page

And from an admin perspective, ThoughtFarmer is ready to go out-of-the-box. Ask eHarmony. They had ThoughtFarmer up and running as their intranet platform, all content migrated, all employees trained, in 5 days.

I said it’s a social SharePoint. How is it social?

Absolutely every piece of content is clearly tied to a user. When you add a page, it’s linked to you. If I click your name, I see your profile and all the other content you’ve created. I can browse your social network in the visual relationship browser.

When content is put in a social context, it’s so much more meaningful.

Simple vs. Complex.

Social vs. Machine.

I think ThoughtFarmer’s an easy choice (but I’m biased).

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