Reuters on Blogtronix
Now it can be told. For the past few months, one of my favorite social software startups, Blogtronix, has been working with publishing giant Reuters to create a new online community around environmental markets called ReutersInteractive, which quietly opened in beta last week. For those of us who are fans and charity users (Social Media Today runs on Blogtronix), the demands of the Reuters project on a small, growing company has meant having to wait for the long-promised release of a major update of the Blogtronix platform.
I’m still waiting for my own setup, but having had a few days now to play with the updated version on ReutersInteractive, I have to say the wait was worth it. The platform’s social networking functions, particularly, have been greatly enhanced and make Blogtronix a much stronger prospect in the commuity-building space.
If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you may already know that I’m a huge fan of Blogtronix, which is the Swiss Army knife of collaboration/publishing platforms. Other companies offer blogging, wiki, workgroup, RSS, social networking and web publishing software but Blogtronix is the only one I know that does it all. Granted, it does some of these tasks better than others.
For example, it is especially awesome for an aggregation site like Social Media Today because it allows me to set up an “Autopost” function for each contributor that automatically pulls their updated feeds into a preview area where an editor—in this case, me—can quickly review them and select the ones that are on target for the site and delete the ones that aren’t. It takes about 15 minutes three or four times a day to review the new input from about 50 blogs and select material to publish—something that would have been a full-time job for two people in the old world of print.
On the other hand, the old version that I’ve been using for the past six months had many built-in social networking features (the ability of users to create profiles, comment, rate posts, and post directly, for example) but they were hard to find and not clearly marked. In addition, users could not build their own customized network or communicate directly and immediately with each other. There was no “Forum” feature.
The new version addresses the missing elements and makes the interface much more “social.” Comments now appear directly under posts and note the placement of the ”Rating” and “Add Comment” links on posts:
The updated user profile page lets community members add connections, build customized teams, subscribe to RSS feeds and communicate instantly with each other. The page also offers a “Posts” and “Spreadsheets” view of the user, as well as a “Profile.”