Enterprise social communities and Drupal

Jay just posted a blog post, called Building enterprise social communities with Drupal, sharing a white paper that we have written at Acquia. In this white paper, we answer questions like: what kind of social features Drupal supplies, why Drupal is the best choice for building a social site, what Drupal modules are useful when building a social site, and some examples of successful enterprise Drupal communities.

The reason we wrote this white paper is simple: many of the enterprise organizations that we talk to ask us these questions over and over again. Building social business sites is a very hot topic in the enterprise. The work environment in these organizations is evolving, and increasingly more, people want to connect, create, share and find people and information relevant to their work. Needless to say, not all social business sites are equal -- some are team collaboration sites, some are community sites, and others might be networking sites. They can exist behind the firewall for internal teams, or they can be external facing sites to engage with partners and customers.

We wrote this white paper because we wanted to demonstrate that Drupal provides a great platform to build these kind of social sites for the enterprise. If you are interested in building a social site for your enterprise and don't know where to start, have a look at our white paper. Also, if you've built, or have a Drupal site around which you have built a successful community, we'd love to learn about it, and learn from it.

Comments

IceCreamYou (not verified):

I enjoyed reading the whitepaper. However, as the author of the Facebook-style Statuses (Microblog) module (FBSS) I was surprised and disappointed that the "My status, microblogging, or other short broadcast communication" category in the "Suggestions for building your social site" section did not include Facebook-style Statuses. This surprised me because Facebook-style Statuses embodies this category far more than the other modules listed; it follows Drupal standards and is far more powerful than the other modules listed; and more importantly, it is much more widely used (and very much more actively maintained) than the other modules listed. FBSS is also more tightly integrated with a wide variety of other modules, including many of the other modules in the rest of your list of suggestions. FBSS allows not just microblogging, but messaging other users as well -- and in fact it is poised to replace that aspect of the Guestbook module (mentioned in the "Messaging between users" category) altogether, because FBSS is far more mature.

Seeing FBSS missing also disappointed me because it demonstrated a profound lack of research by a company with such importance in the Drupal community. In fact, the Facebook-style Statuses project is the second result in a drupal.org search for "microblog." Ask in the forums for a microblog solution, and "Facebook-style Statuses" will be the answer. Same in IRC. Same, in fact, by most developers active in the drupal community who routinely build social networking websites. And FBSS is not new by community standards; it is almost two years old. Such lack of research by a company which stakes its name on promoting the social aspect of Drupal -- in a whitepaper about the social aspects of Drupal -- indicates a disturbing and damaging arrogance. Any enterprise company seriously looking at Drupal for a social solution would be terribly disappointed if the best Drupal-based microblogging solution they found was Shoutbox (which is not a microblogging solution at all). And considering that the biggest and most popular websites on the internet (Google Buzz, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.) all revolve around microblogging, one can hardly argue that microblogging is inconsequential any more.

I did enjoy the rest of the whitepaper, and I appreciate Acquia's service to Drupal.

March 19, 2010
Eelke (not verified):

@IceCreamYou

"indicates a disturbing and damaging arrogance"

Hold your horses, man. There might actually be a good reason, such as a mistake for example? Although your disappointment seems justified, don't be jumping to conclusions and calling out names

March 19, 2010
Michelle (not verified):

I'm not able to read the whitepaper right now, but I skipped to the end to see the module list. In addition to completely agreeing with ICY above, I have a couple other issues:

"friendlist, buddylist 2, user relationships, invite" <-- Friendlist and Buddylist are basically abandoned. User Relationships is good but you're also missing Flag Friend which is a simpler module based on Flag.

No forums? I know a lot of people think forums are passe, but they are still quite popular. :)

Michelle

PS: Mollom, seriously, what could _possibly_ be spammy about that? There's not even a link for goodness sake! :P

March 20, 2010
IceCreamYou (not verified):

@Eelke: I said lack of research indicated arrogance, not a mistake. If it was somehow a mistake, then that doesn't apply. A mistake would imply that somebody knew about FBSS and forgot to include it.

All the same, perhaps my tone came across harsher than it was meant, and in that case I apologize.

March 21, 2010
Martin (not verified):

Excellent, I will be checking the whitepaper and exploring further if indeed Drupal is up to the challenge!

May 5, 2010

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