Socialtext, a provider of social networking and collaboration software, has introduced a microblogging platform into their system. Socialtext Signals are Yammer-Twitter-like messages that allow co-workers and colleagues to stay up-to-date on the going-ons.
In addition to the new Signals capability, Socialtext is rolling out an Adobe AIR application (just like Yammer) that will allow users to update their status and see the status of their Socialtext mates. The application, being based on Adobe AIR, will work on Windows and Macintosh computers. The AIR application will make it possible to use the Signals without having to log into the Socialtext website.
Socialtext Adobe AIR app
Not Another Twitter Clone?
Socialtext is not marketing Signals as another enterprise microblogging product. This is a crowded market with services such as Yammer already being useful utilities. Rather, Socialtext Signals is being pushed as an integrated piece of Socialtext's enterprise sharing platform, which already allows you to see activity streams that alerts co-workers on one another's tasks such as editing wikis, making a blog post, or editing a document.
Anyone who suffers from e-mail overload will appreciate the type of contextual information Socialtext Signals offers. For example, if you want to know if a co-worker has had a chance to edit a document you need their feedback on, rather than emailing them to ask, you can just check their activity stream. Pretty useful in some work environments! But then again, Socialtext Signals is very close in its functionality to the likes of microblogging tools like Twitter and Yammer.
No More E-Mail Attachments
When you combine this microblogging way of updating co-workers on your activities with documents being hosted on a service, an interesting usage model emerges. That is, you no longer have to e-mail attached documents in order to get feedback or additions to your document. Colleagues and co-workers can have a centralized home for a document, eliminating the need to merge documents when different versions are in play between collaborators.
Socialtext Signals is available at no additional cost to Socialtext customers.
Is this type of technology something you would use in your work environment? We look forward to seeing the feedback in the comments!