Cogenz is a social bookmarking service (like del.icio.us), but explicitly designed for enterprises: instead of the del.icio.us model of a huge vat of shared tag soup (ignoring private bookmarks), cogenz pours the soup into different company bowls and only allows you to drink from your own bowl. OK, enough with the soup analogy – basically it allows companies to have a private version of del.icio.us and not worry about installing and maintaining scuttle or similar).
Niall Cook noticed my attempt to sneak in and register before they officially opened up the beta, and was gracious enough to let me be the first external person to access the beta site, and I’ve been playing with it for a couple of days.
After some problems caused by a slight mismatch in our shared understanding – read his post to be clear on what cogenz is and how it works, I think I can post some initial thoughts.
Short summary – pretty good, especially for a first release. Clean and simple design, and does most of the simple bookmarky and taggy things one might expect. Everything is feed enabled, and the site throws up related users.
If the site stays as it is and no more functionality was added, I think it would be of value to many companies wanting to experiment and start using social bookmarks without having to do it in public. So, now you can tag intranet pages and interesting external content without worrying about what is being revealed to the outside world. Of course, you still have to worry about who’s reading it from inside your company, but that’s a separate problem !
Of course, nothing is perfect, and here are some quick thoughts I jotted down (Google Notebook really is good for this kind of activity). Nothing horrific, and probably in the plan for future releases.

  • Should be able to search for users
  • Can’t see how to tag a user (although people can tag themselves)
  • Permissioning model may be too simple (although I could be trying to make it too complex)
    • currently it looks binary (either part of company and therefore able to access all bookmarks, or not part of company and thus not able to read any bookmarks).
    • But, how do we share a limited set of content with an external partner.
    • Should the system warn if trying to share bookmarks that really are internal (ie point to an intranet that is inaccessible outside the firewall)

See my post for a link to a talk by Joshua Schachter of del.icio.us – where he talks briefly about groups and networks, and this post (in fact the whole blog) from Steve Eisner talks in more detail about some of the issues with permissioning tags and groups.
Anyway – nice work guys, it will be interesting to see where this goes, and what the pricing model is !
[tags]cogenz, tags, social, bookmarks, delicious[/tags]