Twitter Challenged By TransMedia’s Engage?
Tweet, tweet! If you were to believe even half of what you read, the launch of TransMedia’s Glide Engage is going to kill off Twitter (news, site).

No, really. At least at the time of the launch that’s what many people were saying in the rush to be the first to announce the demise of a service that has an estimated 40 million users.

But a week later – and you all know how long a week is in social media - people have finally come to their senses, calmed down and have, to a large extent, recognized Engage for what it really is – a microblogging platform, with emphasis on blogging, rather than micro.

Glide File Sharing

So what was, and is, the fuss all about. Well Glide, for a start, is a cloud-based file storage and sharing service for media files that runs on most web browsers using Linux, Mac OSX and Windows.

Glide Engage is an extension of that platform which integrates the Glide OS rights based collaboration application suite including Glide Email, Glide Groups and Glide Meeting.

Shared files are synchronized in typical Glide style, and users can share, view and edit pretty much any file or media type.

The reason that it is being compared with Twitter is because users can create text-based posts of up to 1,400 characters that are displayed on the user's profile page and that are accessible by other users that find the author.

“Because of Glide’s powerful rights based file sharing system, we are providing users with 1,400 characters so that they can share as many of their documents, photos and other personal files (as rights-based links) in their posts as they like,” said TransMedia Chairman and CEO, Donald Leka.

Twitter, But Not Twitter

And this is as far as the similarity goes with Twitter. In fact, it would reasonable to suggest that while Twitter is the genuine microblogging platform, Engage is really a media file-sharing tool with microblogging capabilities.

And the fact that Engage allows users 1,400 characters would seem to push it way out of the ‘micro’ league and into the fully-fledged blog league.

In this respect, it is worth noting that in newspaper layout to estimate the length of an article you divide the total number of characters by five – five being the average number of characters per word.

Using this, it means that with Engage users can post over 250 words per post – again the average length of an average news piece.

However, we don’t want to get picky here. There is no issue with Glide Engage, only an issue with some of the more outrageous headlines that herald the death of Twitter.

Google Wave, or Engage

If Engage is to be compared with anything, it might be compared to Google Wave which is coming to your screen between now and Christmas.

Essentially, Google Wave is a real time communication product, platform and protocol. It aims to revolutionize how we use e-mail, docs, chat, etc. by throwing them into one big melting pot.

According to Google:

  • "A wave is equal parts conversation and document. People can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps and more
  • A wave is shared. Any participant can reply anywhere in the message, edit the content and add participants at any point in the process. Then playback lets anyone rewind the wave to see who said what and when
  • A wave is live. With live transmission as you type, participants on a wave can have faster conversations, see edits and interact with extensions in real-time."

The communication service is a sort of e-mail, collaboration, instant messaging, networking mashup and Google’s idea of what e-mail would look like if it were designed today.

Or then it could also be compared to the real-time collaboration service that combines e-mail, instant messaging and social networking called -- wait for it -- ShareFlow.

It's Not Twitter

So you see, there are at least two other platforms that might be compared to Engage, and Twitter ain’t one of them.

Engage is only the latest of Glide’s products that include applications ranging from word processing to web publishing to photo editing, all of which are integrated with Engage. It is also likely that there will be others and that Engage will be able to integrate with those as well.

With future developments the range and scope of Engage would seem to be limitless in its own right, but not in Twitters.

Leave Twitter alone or the puppy gets it . . .!