Looking for ChannelEyes Managing Partner Bob Godgart, Chief Social Officer Jay McBain or VP of Business Development Shari Godgart? Chances are they're brainstorming in two-room office, filled with white boards, near Albany. Or perhaps they're out on a local lake, clearing their minds a bit, kayaking and then brainstorming some more. Either way, the ChannelEyes team continues to evolve its social media platform, based on early feedback from VARs, MSPs and IT vendors.

"We've got a two-room office with no private offices," says Godgart. "We're brainstorming all day long. There are seven white boards but there is not a spec of [available] white space on any wall."

The ChannelEyes build-out started in 2011. Fast forward to 2012, and the social media platform has been operational for roughly 60 days. To generate buzz and awareness, ChannelEyes has been working closely with the ASCII Group, CompTIA, HTG Peer Groups and other channel industry organizations. More than 2,000 resellers and IT solutions providers have joined the ChannelEyes platform, along with several hundred vendors.

In recent weeks, the ChannelEyes team has been helping vendors to load the system with partner program information. Now, the ChannelEyes team says it is in education mode and listen mode.

On the education front, Godgart notes that it took IT vendors a year or two to understand how to leverage mainstream social media platforms like FaceBook and Twitter. With ChannelEyes, Godgart wants to shorten that learning curve for partners. "We've spoken with all of the top 100 [IT] vendors," said Godgart. "The majority are building out their presence on ChannelEyes."

Bright Ideas

Now, Godgart and his team have gone into listen mode -- gathering feedback and ideas from channel partners that have joined ChannelEyes.

So what do early members want next from ChannelEyes? Godgart points to competitive analytics and business intelligence from vendors that can potentially help partners win more deals. Also, partners are looking for special offers from vendors -- inventory clearances, special promotions and other information that's sometimes hard to find out on the web.

The VAR Guy isn't suggesting this is gonna be easy. The ChannelEyes platform remains ambitious. Pulling VARs, IT service providers and vendors into a social media platform was step one. Driving a healthy, daily, profitable dialog between those audiences is the ongoing goal -- and a challenging one at that.