I’ve very excited about a new Enterprise 2.0 product, WordFrame, which has just been launched. WordFrame is a social media platform, a web publishing, collaboration and content management tool.

I’m excited for two main reasons. The first is that I believe this product fills very neatly a serious need in the market. The second, closely related reason is that the other week I signed on as a WordFrame solution provider partner.

So yes, this post is a bit of a promo – so if that’s a bother, don’t let me keep you. But it’s also, for those who may be interested, my personal explanation, in my own words, of why I believe this is an excellent product, filling a real need. And as a corollary, why I am really pleased to have been appointed as a solution provider partner.

The product just released, full title WordFrame Community 1.0, is described in this press release:

…WordFrame Community (is) an enterprise 2.0 solution combining blogs, wikis, social networking, RSS feed aggregation and online file management. It is aimed at the general market as a start, with pricing and functionality improvements to suit small and medium enterprises.

WordFrame Home page

The need

What’s the need this fulfils?

When I talk at a business function about social media, the common response is “that’s interesting” – which is usually polite speak for “I am totally uninterested” or “I have no idea what you are talking about”.

But every now and again, someone says, “so how do I start?”

At the solo business level, I can quickly sum up some ways for people to get started, give them links, point them to service providers, show them how to get started without breaking the bank. Yes, I could plug my blogging book at that point, but that’s not really the point, which is that I’ve been able to point readily and confidently to resources which I knew would serve anyone in the very small to solo business sector who wanted to get started (in case the hardcore marketers are wondering, yes I do mention my book and how to get it, when that seems appropriate).

But up till now, I’ve had a challenge in responding to enquiries about the small to medium sized business sector when I get the “how do we start?” question.

The challenge has been to be able to point confidently to a platform which:

  • had the features I felt a company needed to have if it was going to be a real player in the social media space
  • was proven technology
  • was scalable – able to grow and be modified with changing facility and requirements
  • had industrial strength security of a level to satisfy the corporation’s techies and lawyers
  • could work effectively as a corporate or group intranet (especially for a geographically dispersed professional or collaboration group), as well as having a public-facing site functionality
  • could be administered by anyone in the company, not just techies
  • did not sacrifice or neglect content management requirements
  • did not require a major capital outlay to get started
  • was economical to run (not cheap, but not a budget-breaker)
  • had a good, contemporary, non hair-tearing-inducing WYSIWYG editor
  • had people behind it in whom I had personal confidence to back up and continue improving their product

The solution

I don’t sign partnership agreements lightly. I’ve done so this time because I am satisfied that WordFrame works for all of those criteria – and probably more, that I haven’t thought of right now.

I also like the fact that the product is available globally and that for WordFrame “globally” actually means worldwide (not, as it sometimes means, “all the countries we are in but sorry, not right now in the one you have the misfortune to be in” or “sorry, we only meant English-speaking countries”).

And that the same development team is already working on the next product, a large enterprise version, due out in 2009.

My decision to align myself with this product was also helped by the fact that it is the platform used by a group to which I am pleased to belong, Social Media Today.

How to find out more

There is of course a WordFrame blog.

There is also a WordFrame demo online. If you need more information than that demo provides, or you want to have a no-obligation, confidential chat about special requirements for your company, group, professional association, or government agency, please get in touch via the contact form on this site. Just as long as you feel you can cope with my enthusiasm! 🙂

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Des Walsh is an executive coach. He helps business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide deal effectively with the feeling of being left behind or overwhelmed, or both, about social media – especially LinkedIn - and how to engage safely and effectively with social media to help grow their business. Connect with Des on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get Des’s weekly Social Business Bites (select snippets of his "best of the week" online finds).