Building a better feed

Feed-based UIs are powerful because they encourage frequent usage and participation. They’re becoming one of the most important ways to present information, and are critical areas of competition in social networking and search.

What mobile apps are essential for collaboration on the go?

What apps do mobile workers need to get their jobs done? A new Forrester report has identified eight “must have” categories of mobile collaboration apps. Here’s a run-down of all the categories outlined, together with some of our recommendations for apps to use in each category:

WorkSimple: Social Goals Management for Your Team

WorkSimple is a company pursuing an interesting niche in the rapidly expanding “social business” market: It provides an app that enables users to share their goals with their co-workers. The company has announced that the basic features of the app are now free.

Podio: A Highly Customizable Enterprise Social Network

Podio is a new app that aims to shake up the enterprise social networking space by providing a tool that can be customized using a wide range of ready-to-use apps available from its App Store. This allows organizations to create a networking platform to suit employees.

Socialtext Updates, Hopes to Make Your Intranet More Social

Socialtext, an enterprise social networking tool that we’ve written about previously, is being updated. The company hopes the new release will help to make corporate intranets more social, and move away from being static sources of information to become places where people interact and share knowledge.

Looking Beyond the Features to Find Good Collaboration Tools

Many collaboration tools have very similar feature sets. But to find a really good app, you need to look beyond the basic features of a particular tool and delve more deeply into the value, experience and knowledge that its vendor brings to the table.

What Does It Take to Run a Virtual Team? (Redux)

Last August, I blogged about how my business partner and I were working through some processes to improve the way my virtual company works. We’ve continued to improve our processes, so I thought I would write an update to let you know how things have changed.

Socialtext 4.0 Adds Groups, Channels

Socialtext, the enterprise social network, collaborative workspace and microblogging tool today announced the launch of Socialtext 4.0. The major updates in this release are centered around making it easier to work on projects, or in ad hoc teams.

Socialtext Adds Smartphone Compatibility With Socialtext Mobile

Picture 18Socialtext, an innovative enterprise social network/collaboration app that we’ve covered previously, has just launched Socialtext Mobile, which provides smartphone compatibility and lets you stay connected to your team even when you’re on the go.
screenshot_iphoneThe beta version of Socialtext Mobile supports iPhone (s aapl), Android (s goog) and BlackBerry (s rimm) devices. The site detects if you’re logging in with a mobile browser, and automatically directs you to Socialltext Mobile, which has a mobile-optimized interface but still lets you access all of Socialtext’s key functionality, including giving you full access to Socialtext Signals (Socialtext’s private microblogging tool), Activity Streams (keeping you up-to-date with what everyone’s doing), collaboration via Workspace pages, and — perhaps most importantly — access to your colleagues via People (which lets you look up colleagues’ contact details and connect with them while you’re on the go).
Socialtext Mobile comes free with Socialtext, the cost of which varies depending on your needs (a 30-day free trial is available). If you’d like to see a demo of Socialtext Mobile, check out the video.
Let us know what you think of Socialtext Mobile in the comments.

What Does It Take to Run a Virtual Team?

As more and more companies and teams are going strictly virtual, there are a whole new set of issues to consider and challenges to address. Using my own virtual social media marketing team as an example, I’ve identified a number of needs that require some kind of technology solution, but at the moment, we are “patchwork quilting” our tech infrastructure to accommodate all of our needs.
Here are some needs virtual teams face daily:

Communications Management Archiving Interaction
Conference Calls
Video Conferencing
Virtual screen demos
Virtual meetings
Virtual PBX
Project Overviews
Task Assignments
Time Tracking
Document drafts
Small files
Large files
Knowledge Base
Document Collaboration
Team Member Integration
Status Updates
Watercooler Socializing

Here is a diagram of what we’re currently using as our solutions and which issues and needs each solution addresses. The software we currently use is in orange. Yellow designates the software we are considering.
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