Open Source ECM: Alfresco opens up to social networks

After the announcement of the integration with Facebook Alfresco made public that Alfresco Social Computing Platform – which integrates Alfresco with Adobe Flex, Facebook, iGoogle, MediaWiki, TypePad and WordPress – will be available for download by tomorrow on SourceForge.

While Alfresco is probably not the first open source projects to experiment with Facebook, John Newton – co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Alfrescobelieves that pushing for the expansion of social computing in the enterprise is an imperative. John on his “manifesto for Social Computing in the Enterprise” states:

The next generation of enterprise employees who started using the internet in their early teens have only known this evolving culture of free and creative development of the internet and now demand better of the enterprise software that they meet.

While I don’t know if every CTO should be on Facebook, as says Jon Williams at the New York CTO blog, I believe Seth Gottlieb‘s theory is correct:

most Intranets fail as social collaboration tools because they cannot capture the energy and passion that seems to form spontaneously on the web. And my theory goes on to assert that people do not invest their personal energy on their corporate intranet because they don’t own it.

John, why are you addressing Facebook audience?

In order for ECM to move from 10% that are specialists in a firm (compliance, doc control, regulatory, maintenance and web sites) to the 90% that need it to control out-of-control information on shared drives, it would need to introduce compelling user interfaces based upon social networking and social computing.

I think Alfresco did a great move addressing needs of the new generation of knowledge workers is enabling a new enterprise vision of social computing.

Last but not least Alfresco rather than building everything on its own is defining an architecture of participation based on Web Scripts Framework. Let’s see if it will eventually help them to foster their community.

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