ItsNotWhatYouKnow Reborn as Knowmentum

Some time later today or tomorrow, ItsNotWhatYouKnow (aka INWYK) will be reborn as Knowmentum, and it’s not just the name that’s a big improvement.

INWYK has been struggling along as a YASNS (Yet Another Social Networking Service). They’ve had some intriguing features: a user interface that was at times brilliantly innovative and other times painfully awkward, a centralized place for members to post specific networking requests, and a really cool Flash-based network mapping tool that allows you to visualize the geographical distribution of your network. Their growth has been accelerating, but they haven’t yet gained the same kind of traction as their older and/or more heavily-funded competitors.

That may well be about to change. Knowmentum is leap-frogging much of the competition with the introduction of a substantial number of new features that other sites and industry analysts/pundits have been talking about for a while, but few have yet implemented:

Member request matching – Put in some keywords of the type of requests you’re interested in, and whenever someone posts a request that matches, you’ll be notified. Also, from your profile, you’re one click away from seeing a list of all active matching requests.

Blog RSS feeds – Others have been talking about it, Knowmentum’s done it. You put in your blog’s RSS feed (no matter where it’s located), and people can see your latest blog posts on your profile.

Recent forum posts – I love this. It’s hard to get a feel for a person’s participation in all the various places within a community. This allows you to see their posts across multiple forums, so you can see what they’ve had to say lately. It gives a person-centric view of locale-centric conversations.

Reputation system – They call it “social rank”. I don’t know all the metric that go into this, yet, so I can’t really comment on its viability. But it’s a good first step to even have one.

All of the above will be live when Knowmentum launches. Even more compelling, though, are some of the new features due out later this month:

Live meetings – This is the biggie. This is compelling. I think a major new direction for business-oriented social networking services is to provide collaboration tools for members that allow them to move beyond “Hello” within the context of the community. Live, multi-person meetings (not just instant messaging) are one key piece of that puzzle.

Groups – INWYK currently has centralized discussion forums, so the ability to have self-organizing groups is a necessary catch-up to most other social networking services. But they’re going one step beyond here, as well. Members will be able to set up totally private groups, with private calendars, member lists, and more, further supporting ad hoc or ongoing collaboration.

Cobranding – Taking a queue from Ecademy’s Trusted Network platform, Knowmentum offers businesses, groups, associations, and other organizations the ability to have a branded, semi-private platform.

Networking resources – They’ve added a list of professional associations (currently live) and networking groups (coming soon), which network members can rate and review. They’ve also added a Networking Store, where people can purchase books and other educational materials on networking.

They’re also doing major development work in the areas of voice and mobile to incorporate into the community, but haven’t offered any details on it yet.

And perhaps one of the biggest pieces of news in conjunction with the launch of Knowmentum is the addition of Dr. Ivan Misner to their Board of Directors. He is founder of Business Network International, the world’s largest business networking organization, and the co-author of Masters of Networking. He is widely known as one of the world’s leading authorities on business networking. There’s no mention at this point of any formal relationship between Knowmentum and BNI at this point, but one can’t help but speculate. Regardless, Misner’s connections, expertise, and reputation will all clearly benefit Knowmentum.

All in all, a giant leap forward for this site. Watch for the launch.