SocialText Desktop RIA ApplicationYou are probably spending a good chunk of your day on Tweetdeck twittering away -- it's addictive, we know. You may also be hanging out on Yammer Desktop with your co-workers yamming it up -- that we also know well.

But Adobe AIR can be used to build much more than a micro-blogging application and SocialText (news, site) has set out to prove it. With the SocialText Desktop you can view your SocialText Signals right from your desktop. But you say SocialText Signals is just another micro-blogging solution. No, SocialText says. It's a lot more.

To get a better handle on their new Desktop solution, CMSWire talked with SocialText Chairman, President and Co-founder Ross Mayfield.

SocialText Signals

We walked you through SocialText Signals, a social messaging solution that is integrated with the SocialText enterprise collaboration platform when it was first announced in March. Although it looks like just another micro-blogging solution on the surface, when you dig down into the details you see there's a lot more there that can make your workday easier and maybe more efficient.

SocialText 3.0 brought us the beta of Signals and we saw that beta become RTM at the Web 2.0 conference last month. The final version offers four primary components:

Signals: These are micro-messages that are sent, limited to 140 characters (just like our tweets). You can view your signals, your colleagues, all replies and links.

SocialText Desktop - Signals

Activity Streams: Based on blog and wiki activity, you can view what you have been doing, what your colleagues that you follow have been doing and your conversations. According to Mayfield, Activity Streams provide you with two abilities:

  • Discover new people through your content
  • Discover new content through your people

People: Follow the activity and signals of particular people in your organization. You can select a person you are following and view their specific information or view all information for all people you follow at the same time.

Workspace: The workspace is a key capability for SocialText platform. It enables you to work on items in your wiki or blog or other application and create signals that indicate what you have done within the same area. This enables you to provide updates without having to switch to a different application. What it also does is store that signal as metadata with that change you made providing a wealth of versioning history and context that stays with the content.

Using Signals

Mayfield says there are three patterns emerging for the use of Signals:

  1. Sharing links, minimizing the need for email
  2. Asking questions in an open forum
  3. Sharing status or context 

SocialText Desktop

The SocialText collaboration platform is available as both a hosted solution and an appliance that you simple plug in and start configuring. Both approaches enable you to have access to the latest updates quickly and take the pressure off maintaining the solution.

Now you can add a third option to the delivery model -- an Adobe Air Application, or as Mayfield puts it "SaaS to the desktop".

Adobe Air provides the ability to build rich internet applications for the desktop -- any desktop, be it Windows, Mac or Linux. You create one version of your application and provide continuous updates without forcing the user to do anything on their side.

SocialText Desktop - User Options

Mayfied says SocialText is leveraging Adobe Air to build enterprise social software applications. Their solutions are built on a web oriented architecture with REST APIs and open-social widgets.

What does this mean for their solutions? It means you can do things like inject activity alerts from other applications and easily integrate other applications and functionality into the SocialText platform.

Time to Go Back to the Desktop?

If you like your desktop applications, then this is one you should try. You can run a free 14 day trial of SocialText desktop. You have to be running SocialText 3.3 with SocialText People enabled to use it. If you just want to go out and get it now, it's a free public beta for SocialText users.