iUpload is changing about as fast—and as much—as any Web 2.0 company can be expected to change. The company, which develops a social networking platform geared toward enterprises, is announcing July 23 a new name, new executive roster, new funding, new corporate headquarters and a new platform.
iUpload, which boasts a fairly hefty customer list—The New York Times, Discovery Channel, MTV, Kodak, Cannondale, McDonalds and the Cato Institute—for a company that launched its platform in 2005, is now Awareness Inc. The change reflects the business value that customers get from using its on-demand social media platform, according to Eric Schurr, iUploads new vice president of marketing.
In addition, iUpload—now Awareness—has brought in CEO John Bruce, Vice President of Engineering Doug Caldwell and CFO Steve Richards. The companys new headquarters are in Waltham, Mass., and the cash to back all these changes is coming from Greylock Venture and North Bridge Venture Partners.
The summer 2007 release of the companys new platform aims to address three key members of an organizations social network: the community members, community administrator and the IT department through a more unified architecture.
With the summer release, community users have more options for input and participation with richer profile functionality, bookmarking, content tagging and geo tagging (adding links to maps), as well as an upgraded user interface. A new set of participation widgets can be embedded in an existing Web page to enable functions such as voting.
"Some of our customers already have very, very big communities and Web sites," said iUpload CTO David Carter. "They take some of [our widget] features and incorporate them into their site. Newsweek takes our participation widgets and inserts them into our pages and comments are e-mailed on their site. They can log into their backend and monitor [comments]."
The bottom line is the new features help companies to gather and share more information about their community members and provide more participation capabilities for users, according to Carter.
For administrators, iUpload has added a configurable rules-based workflow that lets admins create rules that take actions based on content generated by community members. So, for example, an admin can create a workflow approval process that automatically approves, rejects or categorizes postings based on content that flags postings with specific words or replaces specific words in a posting with other words.
"We have robust administration and moderation tools," said Carter. "With Web 2.0 theres a lot of sizzle but tones of concern. Companies want to know, when content goes live what recourse do we have if bad content is posted, or people are trying to hijack our wiki?"
For faster caching—relevant to the IT crowd—iUpload has added memcached technology—essentially a distributed memory caching system that increases performance for high-volume communities. The new release also includes an expanded server infrastructure for better enterprise reliability.