Social networks in the enterprise


None of the platforms tested need to hide their light under a bushel compared with the kings of the hill Facebook and Twitter (see also the "Other Social Networks" box). The services are stable and return control over their data to the operator, thanks to the pod concept and clear settings options. The user interfaces are also designed simply, without exception, and require practically no training.

Other Social Networks

The spectrum of smaller social networks that exist independent of the large commercial applications, are decentralized, and are based on free software is much broader. However, the individual focus needs to be taken into account in each case. Discourse [23], for example, is already quite a widespread platform for interaction in forums. The program, distributed under the GNU GPLv2, is not designed as a short message service, but rather as a competitor to commercial applications like vBulletin. [7], which is free software for microblogging that emerged from the former, also relies on decentralized structures. has numerous client applications for the desktop, but the software is still in an experimental stage, and features such as chat rooms are missing. WordPress, under development since 2003, is the market leader in the field of blogging software, and it can be transformed into microblogging software with the right theme [24].

The cumbersome and mostly very complex process for setting up the respective servers is a constant source of criticism. Occasionally, outdated documentation makes it even more difficult. Setting up your own server can therefore pose problems, even for experienced admins.

For companies, however, the small networks may be interesting because they enable closed groups in their own instances and guarantee the necessary security against unwanted eavesdroppers and co-readers. The only exception is Diaspora, whose developers do not want isolated "in-house installations" [5]. Nevertheless the pod admin still retains mastery over the data, with an option for ensuring privacy with rights assignments.

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