Spent some time talking with Eric Sauve of Tomoye last week. Was an interesting conversation around how he positions his product around “Communities of Practice”. Often I find the problem with the way people position Web 2.0 products such as wikis is that they end up saying “you can use it for anything” – which may be true but not very helpful for people who want to buy from you. They need to buy it for a reason – and positioning social software as a “widget” that gives you a community of practice seems like a very good thing.
I’ve also noticed that Socialtext’s re-launched site has four use cases on the right hand side – I can’t really remember their last one but I’m pretty sure it was more of an “all things for all people” site, focus is definitely good when you can get it. I think the problem stems from the fact that people, especially if they’re in start-up mode, don’t want to alienate any sector or use case by defining specific scenarios. Problem is, you don’t attract anyone either!