Thanks to a news release published on AECcafe.com, I have learned that Meridian Systems, US-based provider of project management solutions including Prolog and Proliance, has created an online forum for users of its products. The platform – the screenshot suggests it is essentially a discussion board – is intended to help Meridian customers collaborate and share tips, to answer technical questions and to help customers and partners connect with each other. It now has over 500 users (but doesn’t say how long it’s taken to reach that milestone).
According to the news release, Meridian is encouraging people to join the site. I’ve applied and got a message saying my “account is pending approval” – thought I’m not sure if I’ll get much further as I’m not a Meridian user. It says the forum is “a key component of the Meridian SupportLink Website… available to Meridian customers with active support and maintenance agreements”.
[Update (2 November 2009): Received email today saying: “we can only approve accounts for customers that have purchased Meridian products. As of current, I do not see any under your name. If I am mistaken, please provide me with your Meridian serial number so I can verify your purchase.”]
Contrast this closed approach with the more Web 2.0-savvy open approach adopted by UK collaboration vendor Asite who launched their online community in June (see also my pwcom post, Asite community: the first 100 days). I was able to login without approval and was soon getting direct feedback from Asite staff (even though I am not an Asite customer).