Collaborize Launches at DEMO2010

by francine Hardaway on March 22, 2010

My long-time friend (he was my student) friend Richard Lang, whose company (OTC: BRST.PK) won a couple of big patent infringement suits a while back, but essentially lost its product window in the bargain, has taken the company in a brave new direction with the launch of Collaborize, an online communications and decision tool for groups of all sizes that I believe could and should replace Yahoo Groups.  (Disclosure: I’m a small investor in Burst, and have been for about ten years.)

Lang would also like the product to be used by governments to solve large world problems, and by the enterprise to manage distributed teams. (I wish we had launched it last summer during the town halls, so they could have been virtualized and made more effective and less angry.)

To make sure smaller communities like parent organizations can also use it, Collaborize is designed to be easy to set up, non-geeky, and inexpensive.

The public announcement of Collaborize™ was made this morning at the Spring DEMO Conference.  I am here in Palm Springs watching and supporting, wearing my Collaborize shirt. Life could be worse. is in the process of changing its company name to Democrasoft to underline its new strategic direction.  Collaborize is the first in an anticipated series of Democrasoft products built upon a common platform.

Democrasoft has queued up a nice list of beta partners that include Medtronic, Robert Cringely, TechSoup Global, Monitor Group, Maverick Media, and Wine Industry Network. It’s neat that these companies are willing to lend their names to the launch.

Cringely is using the product in a way that isn’t exactly what it’s designed for, but one to which it can easily be converted: he’s asking his audience to submit nominations for top startup companies outside big tech centers. The winning 24 companies will be on a PBS series he’s doing.

Collaborize can empower groups and organizations of all sizes: businesses, non-profits, governments and their citizens. It taps into the “Wisdom of We”™ to turn a group, organization or social network into a functioning community that can make decisions and share information in real time. It’s what we all hoped the internet would become – a way of producing positive outcomes from all our new connections.

As –it is a 20-year-old public company with a history of pioneering technology, which is now becoming dedicated to facilitating a vision of online social networking with a purpose. For more information, visit

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Gregg Masters March 22, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Francine, diggin' the story here. I especially resonate with the 'Wisdom of We' mantra; how cool is that?

The 'collaborize' notion, i.e., connecting the dots or affinity driven, crowdsourced 'collaboration' (I assume) in a granularly competitive culture seems a bit of a 'sustainability challenge'.

Twitter may present an organic case study in play? Affinity interest groups connect via open source micro-blogging participation, then alliances form, a hastag is created to pool tweets, then commercial participation steps in with 'sponsorship' interests,while someone then attempts to control or scrub either the medium or worse yet, the narrative. All conversation and ultimately enterprise killers in my judgement. Thanks for heads-up, enjoy the desert!

hardaway March 22, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Well, it's more like: you already have an affinity group. It is already a
“sponsored conversation,” like a parent-teacher association, a politician's constituency, a distributed dev team; it has been meeting on Yahoo Groups, Wave, or email, but it can't get to decisions on those platforms. With Collaborize it can reach decisions. In fact, the Tumor Board could use it to meet virtually and compare digital scans:-)

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