New Features for Connect Beta

August 27th, 2007 14 Comments

Since we launched Connect alpha about three weeks ago, Rich has been adding new features in stealth mode leading up to our beta release, which should be finished sometime this week. We weren’t promoting the new features, just to see how people adopted them. This gave us a nice viral study, and it pointed out some usability tweaks.

We have 14,000 odd users today, more than 20% of the total corporate population, and despite having little more than social networking, we’re still seeing strong traffic, averaging around 10,000 visitors each day, about a tenth of those being unique visitors.

connect.png

On Friday, I produced a bunch of screencasts (sorry, internal only) on the new features, and Rich added a New Features link as well as an Activity Log to show what people in the network are doing. Later this week, Paul will send his bi-monthly newsletter, probably with a focus on the Connect beta feature set. So, this week will be a good test of adoption with limited promotion.

Anshu had a nice post about Connect on Saturday, so I figured this would be a good time to talk about our beta features.

Keeping in mind that Connect is the product of a single developer, we’ve been able to accomplish quite a lot in just a short period of time. Connect alpha applied a social network to the employee directory, added some new search capabilities and debuted a new method for navigating the organization, the management bar.

As people logged in and created networks, the inevitable question arose, “What do I do now?” We began to get enhancement requests as people saw the value of a social network, which made us feel warm and fuzzy. So, we huddled in a conference room to make a short list of collaborative features to add into the beta version.

Many of these were already on our plan, but as more people asked for them, they rose in priority. Without further ado, here’s the list of what’s new in Connect beta:

That’s actually more content that I thought it would be. Sorry about no pictures or screencasts, but I’m sure you understand. Anyway, we’re stoked to get the beta released and let the Connect experiment marinate while we dive into some other sweet projects.

Stay tuned, same new web time, same new web channel.


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14 Responses to “New Features for Connect Beta”

  1. Applications Technology and Integration : Home Page Says:

    inside the Oracle firewall. As Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn have competed to make us more social by putting us in front of our computers more, a new opportunity has presented itself within corporate communications. Corporate relationships are much the same as social

  2. The MineThatData Blog Says:

    Social Media Creators The spoils of social media go to those who wait LeWeb3: Social Media: Is it killing our society? The World’s First Book On Social Media Using Social MediaComment on New Features for Connect Beta by The Killer Attitude: A …

  3. Raimonds Says:

    It’s nice to see that you are successfully running Ruby on Rails application internally at Oracle.

    Taking into account growing popularity of Rails inside Oracle it would be good if also you could help with rising priority of porting Oracle Instant Client to Intel Mac. There are so many Rails developers on Macs which feel very frustrated that they cannot develop Rails applications on Oracle database – see OTN discussion thread
    http://forums.oracle.com/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=481059

    It seems that currently OTN people do not have enough influence on setting priorities for Oracle development.

  4. Raimonds Says:

    It’s nice to see that you are successfully running Ruby on Rails application internally at Oracle.

    Taking into account growing popularity of Rails inside Oracle it would be good if also you could help with rising priority of porting Oracle Instant Client to Intel Mac. There are so many Rails developers on Macs which feel very frustrated that they cannot develop Rails applications on Oracle database – see OTN discussion thread
    http://forums.oracle.com/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=481059

    It seems that currently OTN people do not have enough influence on setting priorities for Oracle development.

  5. Tim Says:

    OK … so now I have ‘Kudos’ed’ a few people, sort of and ‘About’ed’ me. Betcha never knew I ‘dream of long walks on the beach’ – I was tesing the serch engine – sadly there are no like minded folks in Colorado that enjoy beach walks.
    Now, I want more, I want to be able to link to useful docs on ‘Files’ but … heres the wrinkle, I want to tag the docs with just a little more than a description that ‘files’ currently supports. So, Connect either needs a companion table or we comma delimit tags in the files description field and you handle them, cos I want to search not only for people but for documents. Im sure its on the list … ‘bookmarkdom’ beckons.

  6. Tim Says:

    OK … so now I have ‘Kudos’ed’ a few people, sort of and ‘About’ed’ me. Betcha never knew I ‘dream of long walks on the beach’ – I was tesing the serch engine – sadly there are no like minded folks in Colorado that enjoy beach walks.
    Now, I want more, I want to be able to link to useful docs on ‘Files’ but … heres the wrinkle, I want to tag the docs with just a little more than a description that ‘files’ currently supports. So, Connect either needs a companion table or we comma delimit tags in the files description field and you handle them, cos I want to search not only for people but for documents. Im sure its on the list … ‘bookmarkdom’ beckons.

  7. Jake Says:

    Tim,
    We’re hesitant to build anything around files right now because the infrastructure is in flux. Suffice to say it’s on the list, just not very near the top due to the sliding plans of internal IT.
    Jake

  8. Jake Says:

    Tim,
    We’re hesitant to build anything around files right now because the infrastructure is in flux. Suffice to say it’s on the list, just not very near the top due to the sliding plans of internal IT.
    Jake

  9. Jake Says:

    Raimonds,
    We’ve heard this several times and are championing it internally. Rich is your best friend right now.
    Jake

  10. Jake Says:

    Raimonds,
    We’ve heard this several times and are championing it internally. Rich is your best friend right now.
    Jake

  11. Anne Truitt Zelenka » Mold the Virtual Space Not the Office Space Says:

    [...] social network platform. Oracle’s AppsLab is working on one right now. Clearly, you have to do something different than Facebook because poking your coworkers is out. [...]

  12. The Killer Attitude: A Social Media Oracle? Says:

    [...] Appslab seems to be something called Connect. An internal, Web 2.0-ish, social networking, thing. Read here for some part of the story. As this is an internal application I have not seen it in action, but [...]

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