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Connect upgrades social network

Mycommunitypage The HP enterprise user group Connect leads a tour of its enhanced social networking tools and features tomorrow. Social networking is a key benefit of the group, formed last year when Encompass, the Tandem user group and HP Interex-Europe allied as one entity. Connect needs younger members, according to its leaders, so social networking was added last year to attract participation from a fresher demographic.

The one-hour tour of the new myCommunity begins at 10:30 CDT on Tuesday, April 14, a WebEx presentation that attendees must register for in advance.

Connect says the new features and tools at the social network myCommunity were built and implemented by Pluck, Inc., an Austin-based company that offers integrated social media for publishers, retailers and brands. Pluck says its technology platform powers more than 2.5 billion monthly interactions. Some of Pluck's clients include the Lance Armstrong Foundation, The Economist and Whole Foods.

Connect is calling the new myCommunity an "improved social media site," the second generation of a social net introduced last summer after the 2008 HP Technology Forum & Expo. The group says myCommunity "myCommunity is up and running in its new and improved format, and we'd like to show you how to get the most out of the site."

Gaining critical mass can be a lengthy process for any social network, especially one like myConnect that's focused on one vendor's enterprise solutions. The most dedicated of social networkers maintain profiles on multiple nets, such as Linked In (which has three groups devoted to some aspect of the HP 3000), Facebook, or Plaxo. The traffic on myCommunity up to this spring has been in a growth phase, and the prior tools and interface were created by another social net supplier, Leverage Software.

Pluck is part of the Demand Media social networking corporation, an enterprise that includes branded sites like science-fiction/fantasy site mania.com, how-to site ehow.com, and studios to help content providers build their own communities. Demand Media purchased Pluck, which was founded in 2003, last year. Tomorrow's WebEx tour is being hosted by Demand Media.

Some myCommunity members have included HP 3000 experience among their profiles, but the majority of the social network's participants are HP Unix, Windows or OpenVMS users. Since two of those three groups represent typical migration target platforms for 3000 migrators, Connect membership could be useful in creating an new wing of your IT network. You need to belong to Connect to join myCommunity, but membership is only $50 yearly. The tour tomorrow doesn't require membership.