Microblogging on SharePoint: Summer 2010 Update

I wrote a blog post about a year ago on the subject of microblogging in SharePoint, specifically addressing the possibility of Bamboo’s developing Twitter/Yammer-like functionality as a SharePoint Web Part. To be perfectly frank, I wrote that post partly out of a personal interest in seeing such functionality in SharePoint, and partly as a means of gauging interest from Bamboo’s customer base, but (no dummy, I) mostly as a means of appeasing my wife, who happened to be in the market for just such a product for her company.

A few months after that initial post, I wrote an update, mentioning that Bamboo had been approached by a customer interested in sharing development costs for a custom build of such a product (which we could then make available on our storefront), and also mentioning that Yammer was in the process of developing their own microblogging solution for SharePoint and, last but most certainly not least, referencing the fact that Microsoft would be including microblogging as a feature of SharePoint 2010.

Combined, those two posts generated a huge volume of responses; they drove (and continue to drive) more comments and emails than any other SharePoint Blank topic to date … and by a wide margin, at that.  Needless to say, the level of interest in seeing this functionality within SharePoint is substantial.  And since the question relating to this subject that I’m asked most often is, “So, when will I be able to purchase such a product from Bamboo?” I figured it was probably time for another update.

Since I last addressed the topic, SharePoint 2010 has hit the market, and I trust that everyone fortunate enough to be using the new platform is loving that not only has SharePoint truly embraced social features with this release, but that, not least among the new social features is microblogging, which is available via the status update on your Profile page.

For those of you who aren’t yet on SharePoint 2010, and who expect to remain on 2007 for some time yet, the good news is that all is not lost on the microblogging front.

On the one hand, our friends at NewsGator continue to redefine the notion of “social SharePoint” with their NewsGator Social Sites product.

On the other hand, just last month, Yammer announced the release of their SharePoint Web Part. If your company is already using Yammer, the Yammer SharePoint Web Part provides integration of your Yammer feed within SharePoint 2007.

Each of these products represents a currently available potential solution that you should be aware of if you’re looking for SharePoint microblogging functionality.

Much as I wish I could end this post with a bang by announcing the upcoming release of Bamboo’s own microblogging Web Part for SharePoint, I’m afraid that’s not the case.  Negotiations ended up falling through with the potential customer with whom we were exploring custom development of the product (building to their specifications, sharing development costs, and ultimately releasing a version of the product on our storefront).

Having said that, however, I’m just going to throw this out there … Bamboo is currently without a suitor to woo our Custom Solutions team into developing a standalone microblogging Web Part for SharePoint.  If you’d like to come calling, please feel free to respond in the comments below, or just write me directly at john.anderson@bamboosolutions.com, and it would absolutely be my pleasure to put you in touch with the appropriate folks.

Plus, if this works out, you’d really be doing me a solid with the wife (who is still in the market for just such a standalone product) … and for that alone, you’d have my undying gratitude!