Its not often that I see a tech demo that makes me go "wow". But I am really impressed with what I have seen so far with new social networking platform Solaborate.
Solaborate is the first social networking platform dedicated to technology professionals. And it pushes all the right buttons for techies too.
Launching in beta today, Solaborate enables tech professionals and companies to connect, collaborate, and create an ecosystem around products and services.
It provides technology professionals a central place with the right tools and services to collaborate in real time — both internally and externally — and solve business problems.
"There are a lot of places on the internet where you can share information or network with others, but you can’t collaborate in real time."
— Labinot Bytyqi, founder and CEO of Solaborate
The company today announced that it has received over $1 million in seed funding from angel and individual investors.
From first glance, the platform has been built from the ground up to enable collaboration between other social media channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.
It has been built on Microsoft Windows Azure cloud computing, using HTML5, WebSockets, and WebRTC protocol for real time communication.
I think that this will appeal to tech professionals because Solaborate enables them to post questions, share documents and presentations, chat, video conference, and provide best practices, all within the platform designed exclusively for them.
The platform enables users to connect, discover, and follow other technology professionals, companies, products, and services. They can also access knowledge, search and apply for jobs and opportunities, provide commentary, preview product demos, and more.
Key features of the platform include:
Video chat in one-on-one and group conversations with customers, experts, and product representatives, etc, without the need for software downloads or plug-ins based on WebRTC
View, create, and share demos of products and services
Join or develop user groups where users can share content and participate in discussions.
Solaborate was founded in 2010 and has its headquarters in Los Angeles, California. Founder and CEO of Solaborate, Labinot Bytyqi built a team of over 18 to design and develop Solaborate in Skopje, Macedonia, with a seven strong team in Prishtina, Kosovo responsible for testing the product.
The tool seems to have taken all of the best features of LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+, and added some of its own smart features. And like these platforms, Solaborate will generate revenue through advertising — not making users pay monthly subscriptions to access the site.
You can share information with specific groups, and unlike Facebook or Google+, this information can not be easily shared outside of the original connection group. It allows you to share rich media, such as documents, videos, and code snippets with the groups you want to.
Profile information — business cards — enable you to showcase your specific skills and display them on your card. You can connect with other professionals or follow them without connecting to them. Your profile also gets a score called a "tech score".
Tech scores are based on three different components of your profile — activity, sharing useful content and having it shared, followers, and connections.
Desktop sharing, file sharing, and real time point-to-point collaboration is enabled with WebRTC. Group chat uses a different technology to that used by Google+ in its Hangouts.
People can collaborate within companies and find experts working in their area of expertise. You can find customers, service providers, and partners.
Filters allow you to narrow down your search. A reporting system prevents spammers offering you irrelevant products, and the tool learns to "weed out" persistent offenders from the system.
"There are a lot of places on the internet where you can share information or network with others, but you can't collaborate in real time," said Bytyqi.
"By incorporating the best social media has to offer, then taking it a step further, Solaborate makes it easy to share relevant content with peers, colleagues, vendors, and customers from a central platform, and build an ecosystem around products and services all in one dedicated place for technology professionals."
Right now, LinkedIn lacks the ability to allow its users to collaborate in real time, which is where Solaborate has an edge. It currently focuses specifically on the technology industry, however in the future, its plans include a move into other industries, according to Bytyqi.
At first glance, the site looks good, very good. Solaborate uses all of the best features from other social media sites whilst focusing specifically on one industry.
Go and grab yourself an invite to the site and prepare to be impressed.