“Why can’t we build this on Sharepoint?”

This is interesting, an round-up why Sharepoint is (not yet) the best way to go when implementing social software for networks in organizations. Kathleen Gilroy of The Future of Communities Blog proposes some good reasons, among them that MOSS wasn’t designed explicitly for inter-enterprise collaboration across organizational boundaries:

Cross network collaboration. Sharepoint is designed for work group collaboration inside the enterprise. But increasingly work is done inside AND outside the firewall. […]

While I have no doubt that Microsoft and the MOSS-Team will work on these weaknesses, Ishai Sagi is arguing (and this is reminiscent of many discussions I’ve had with Lotus Notes aficionados, always holding that you can replicate this “with little development effort “):

you must be kidding me!
It is obvious you have not tried MOSS (sharepoint 2007), and therefore not aware that, with the possible exclusion of point number 5 (I have no idea what “ajax desktop” is, so I wont comment on it), all of the points are either built in in sharepoint, or require small development effort. I would be happy to discuss this with you or anyone who cant find the feature in sharepoint. I am currently implementing a social network in a big (5K users) organisation, and you know what? sharepoint is more than good enough.
A point to note – most organidations dont want users to have blogs and such like, but do want a “social phonebook” – sharepoint allows that out of the box – just remove a specific permission in the administration panel. does your product do that?

Let me say, that focusing on the tool side of social software won’t do the trick – it’s the implementation in a specific context that counts. And putting forth that organizations don’t want their employees to have blogs and other social software is naive in my book, as a lot of firms are already experimenting with internal social software because traditional approaches to knowledge management or collaboration have failed.

So “social phonebooks” are only the beginning, and must be expanded – something that the MOSS team sees for sure, like LeeLeFever holds:

but my bet is that MS will get SharePoint right soon and become even more of an elephant in the room

Well, implementation support and consultant expertise in social software will remain important anyway …