An increasing number of new-media startups — and even new projects by existing media outlets — are aimed at bringing context, background and analysis to the news instead of just trying to be the first to report something, and that’s a very beneficial development
Reddit is beta testing a new feature that allows users to create and update live blogs about breaking news events such as the recent uprising in Ukraine or the war in Syria — a move that could be a valuable addition to the cause of “open-source journalism”
I got a demo earlier this week of Voxer for Business, which is a real-time voice chat solution for business use. It reminds me of a web-based intercom solution for businesses that have lots of people who would like to remain in contact by mobile devices. It is based on the popular Voxer push-to-talk messaging solution, but has a number of added capabilities.
The mobile clients are available for iOS, Android and Windows phones:
However, the Voxer for business adds a number of very helpful management tools. Voxer for Business includes employee account management, a private Voxer network, a dashboard that allows multiple chats to be handled via browser, a map of where all the users in the network are located at any given time, and control of all communications.
Here’s the real-time dashboard showing the map:
And below you get an idea of parallel chats going on with different groups across the company.
The Bottom Line
My sense is that Voxer for Business fills a need for many companies, or the out-in-the-field parts of companies. Think about a large engineering firm, with people working on different job sites, and needing to communicate within and across groups in real time by voice. Or a small window washing company, or real estate agents, or taxi drivers in a fleet.
I have seldom seen a product so well-matched to serving the needs of a constituency as Voxer does for those people who work away from a desk, and the mixed community of those field staff and the headquarters staff supporting them.
As with so many other news events, there was plenty of speculation and misinformation flowing on Twitter about the crash of an airplane at San Francisco airport — but for better or worse, that is just the way the news works now.
A group of Harvard researchers who looked at information flows on Twitter during the Boston bombings came to the conclusion the network could be useful during such events for aid workers and emergency personnel.
This week, both Facebook and Yahoo detailed new efforts to manage real-time data flows within their myriad systems. Yahoo’s work is an open source implementation of Storm designed to run on the same cluster as Hadoop and even share resources.
Whenever a breaking news event leads to errors on Twitter, critics suggest that the service needs some kind of built in correction or editing mechanism — but adding one would not only be complicated, it would also be unwise.
IBM has a new box for the internet of things, but it’s the MQTT protocol inside that box that’s worth a long look. The protocol could become the messaging layer for the internet of things.
Facebook is making changes to its news feed in order to try and filter content better for users, while Twitter continues to provide a largely unfiltered experience. Which one is better? That depends on how you use it.
There are many things I like better about my Android phone compared to my old iPhone, but one of the big ones is something that is missing: namely, all those irritating real-time notifications