Now that the Web’s biggest microblogging-based enterprise solutions have caught up with each other (give or take a few features), what’s next? According to Socialcast (news, site), it’s the enhancement of leadership communication.
Dubbed Town Hall, Socialcast's latest addition acknowledges the difference between executive engagement and the peer-to-peer engagement that typical enterprise collaboration solutions promote.
In an attempt to remedy the disconnect, Town Hall provides an on-demand forum for direct or moderated discussions between company executives and employees so that everyone can be on the same page when it comes to business goals. Sessions may be public or private, and the layout should look quite familiar to all of your Facebook users out there:
Get (and Keep) the Ball Rolling
Employees can drop questions into a question pool to indicate to executives that a Town Hall is needed, or executives can schedule a meeting on their own accord. As the Town Hall begins, the hosting executive has visibility into open, answered or flagged questions via a private dashboard, as well as a few basic statistics (number of viewers, number of likes, etc.):
All answered questions are made visible to the attending audience in real time, and are then archived for historical review. Further, these forums can continue past the participation of the executive if employees have subscribed to them. Much like Facebook, subscribed participants are pinged via e-mail when additional comments are made, inviting them to keep the conversation going in an openly accessible environment.
“We’ve heard loud and clear from our customers that senior leadership communication is paramount to employee engagement and organizational alignment,” said Tim Young, Founder and CEO of Socialcast. “Now, with Town Hall, companies have a channel to keep all employees informed of key plans and directions while creating the opportunity for feedback loops that cross hierarchical boundaries.”
The solution completely makes sense, but whether or not it will catch on as the next step in the evolution of the activity stream remains to be seen.