ChannelEyes, a channel-centric social media network built by former Autotask CEO Bob Godgart, apparently will offer a pilot launch to "early access" partners on January 12, according to a company blog entry. ChannelEyes claims to have signed up "thousands" of channel partners and more than 500 technology vendors. But can Godgart -- and fellow Autotask veteran Jay McBain -- continue the ChannelEyes buzz beyond the pilot?

Chatter about ChannelEyes started in September 2011. According to the prepared statement at the time, ChannelEyes will allow:
  • Partners to control the programs they need to follow, filter the information they want to share and easily build social conversations around it.
  • For suppliers like vendors, distributors, associations, franchises and other players in the ecosystem, it will be the place to engage with their entire channel. Organizations will be able to target the right person with the right information at the right time.
More recently, McBain has blogged: "ChannelEyes was started as a better way for Vendors to work with and engage their Channel Partners every day. Something that makes Partner Portals, Newsletters and Email -- work better!"

Hmmm... The VAR Guy is intrigued. No doubt, Godgart has leveraged strong relationships in CompTIA to attract vendors and channel partners to ChannelEyes. And McBain has a knack for whipping up social media storms that educate readers about his business interests.

Still, The VAR Guy is taking a wait-and-see attitude toward ChannelEyes. VARs and MSPs, after all, already have their hands full managing a range of social media engagements. ChannelEyes will need to provide a tight bond between vendors and VARs to keep partners coming back for more.

The reality check potentially starts January 12, when ChannelEyes opens its pilot launch up to early access participants...