Knowledge Network – Introducing Spaces

Last Sunday at Lotusphere 2010, Collaboration Matters launched the Knowledge Network, our new Social Collaboration and Knowledge Management suite for Lotus Domino.

The Knowledge Network, or K-Net for short, is a rounded suite of social tools allowing organisations to enable their users to more easily share information, find skills and resources, collaborate with others and to build an organisations network of knowledge.

During the next couple of weeks, we’ll be introducing each of the most significant features of the solution in a series of blog posts.  See the bottom of this entry for links to previous posts and the announcement itself.

Introducing Spaces

Spaces are areas where dynamic communities of users can find each other, share content, discuss topics, generate new ideas and share resources.  Typically, these users are brought together around a common interest, topic, practice, project or activity.  They can be used for both business and social purposes and are both powerful and very easy to use.

Here’s an example:

Index: The Collaboration Matters LS10 Community

As you can see, I’ve created a Space to be used by a community being built around this Lotusphere event.

In the Space I can see links to the Space’s Index (table of contents or home page), its Blog, Coversations (a forum or discussion threads), Members (a list of all the members of the Space including permissions) and About (details of how and why this Space was created):
Index: The Collaboration Matters LS10 Community

Within the Index page, we have a table of contents and a feed to the latest updates from the Space:
Index: The Collaboration Matters LS10 Community

This Space includes a number of different kinds of content, including Folders (Spaces can have a full directory structure of content), Ideas (suggestions for the community to discuss) and Documents (rich text items), Links (to other sites/URLs). Other forms of content supported include Videos (taking an embed code from a video site such as YouTube) and Files (multiple files can be attached to each entry).  This means that the Space can contain a mixture of social content (bookmarks, discussions, video) and also more formal content (company documentation etc) – this marks Spaces as being more flexible than some other social community solutions.

The Space Blog allows the expected blogging features – controls of who can post, rich text posts, links to other resources, comments from Space members – plus some you may not expect, such as the automatic generation of tags from a post’s content, a full rating system for posts and comments (graded from 1-5), recommendations, ability to subscribe to comments on an individual post by RSS, adding to a favourites list within K-Net and the reporting of inappropriate content:
Blog home page for The Collaboration Matters LS10 Community

The Conversations page offers a dynamic forum for discussion, with the default view offering a list of discussion entries:
Conversations: The Collaboration Matters LS10 Community

Each individual conversation is a fully threaded discussion, with rich text entries and comments, and the ability to tag each element of the conversation.
What do you think of Lotusphere 2010 so far?

Lastly, the member list shows all members of the Space, along with their access rights:
Members: The Collaboration Matters LS10 Community

That’s a very quick run-through of Spaces – a very dynamic and intuitive area for communities to gather and to share ideas and content.

The Spaces feature can be customised and extended according to your organisation’s need.

This is the third in our series of K-Net introductions, previous entries include:
Introducing the Knowledge Network
Knowledge Network – introducing the user profile

The formal announcement is also available:
Announcement: Collaboration Matters Bring Comprehensive Enterprise 2.0 Social Collaboration Suite to Lotus Domino

For more information, please contact Stuart McIntyre by email, phone (+44 121 288 0080), or Twitter.

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!