StatusNet Goes Enterprise
StatusNet is taking microblogs to the enterprise, launching the StatusNet Enterprise Network (SEN) today to manage microblog servers for corporate customers. Initial customers include Canonical and Motorola.
StatusNet is the company behind Identi.ca and the StatusNet open source microblogging software. Any company can take the StatusNet software and build its own microblogging infrastructure, or simply turn to StatusNet for a turnkey implementation. Plans are between $1,000 and $10,000 per year, and include support and consulting on best practices for using internal microblogging facilities.
What's in it for companies? Having a behind-the-firewall microblog makes it easier for employees to communicate across the business. Just as Identi.ca and Twitter make it much easier to communicate with groups and individuals in public, having an internal microblog makes it easier to communicate with colleagues quickly and effectively. You can let an entire network, group, or just one co-worker know what you're up to at any given time.
The StatusNet software itself is available under the GNU Aaffero General Public License version 3 (AGPLv3). StatusNet can authenticate against LDAP and implements a Groups feature not found on Twitter. The Groups feature is particularly useful for teams who might want to follow all of the other members in their division, workgroup, project team, etc. It also implements the OpenMicroBlogging protocol, so users can subscribe to updates from users on other networks using OAuth.
StatusNet has been ramping up for growth the past year or so. The company closed a $875K round of financing in October of last year. It should be interesting to see if they can hit critical mass with the public service to help drive attention to their SEN offering, though the company is doing pretty well at grabbing attention.
So far Identi.ca and other public StatusNet sites, which serve as a public portfolio of what the StatusNet software can do, have pulled in a 1.1M users. By comparison, Twitter was projected to have about 18 million users (or at least accounts) by the end of 2009. In comparison, the StatusNet numbers look modest, but the company also has 4,466 private beta sites running on Status.net and the software has been grabbed off their site more than 13,000 times from January 10 to February 22 of this year.
Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years covering IT. Formerly the openSUSE Community Manager for Novell, Brockmeier has written for Linux Magazine, Sys Admin, Linux Pro Magazine, IBM developerWorks, Linux.com, CIO.com, Linux Weekly News, ZDNet, and many other publications. Brockmeier is also a FLOSS advocate and participates in several projects, including GNOME as the PR team lead. You can reach Zonker at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter or Identi.ca.