Big Blue unveiled a handful of new and updated software applications and web-based services targeted at social networking and collaboration for businesses.
The social networking service, known as Lotus Connections, allows users to create profiles, blogs, projects and communities based on areas of expertise.
Users create profiles and communities with keywords which can be searched by others. The concept of the service is similar to social networking sites, such as Facebook.
IBM hopes that the service will improve collaboration for online projects as well as allow users to form communities with other experts and more easily consult experts in outside fields.
Driver suggested that the Connections service will also help businesses attract and retain young employees with an understanding of Web 2.0 technologies.
"The generation coming into the workforce today grew up on this stuff," she said. "They expect to come into a job and have social networking tools."
Keeping with the theme of communication, IBM also announced a new version of its Lotus Sametime instant messaging program, allowing for video chat, as well as support for Linux server and Mac OS X systems.
Lotus Quickr, an online collaboration service, was also unveiled at the conference, enabling users to collaborate on projects in real time from different locations.
To help support and promote the new Lotus software, IBM has launched a Lotusphere complex in Second Life to provide residents of the 3D world with advice and tutorials from Lotus experts and developers.
The two flagship Lotus products, Notes and Domino, inched closer to new releases as well. IBM said that both products will enter a public beta phase in February, with a target date of mid-2007 for final release.
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