Over the past few years, Socialtext has built out its social software platform to include people profiles, customized Dashboards, blogs and wikis, and the Socialcalc collaborative spreadsheet. But one of the biggest boosts to Socialtext’s success has been last year’s introduction of Signals, a micro-blogging tool that’s similar to Twitter, except that it resides securely behind your organization’s firewall.
People at work use Signals to:
- Share links to useful information;
- Provide status updates, both business and personal;
- Ask questions, and get answers, without interrupting people.
But there are many things that can’t be properly communicated in 140 characters – that require a longer form. In the public arena, people use Twitter to link to their blog posts, where ideas can be explored in more detail.
Similarly, inside the enterprise, people use Signals to point to content in shared web pages (wikis) that support revision control, internal and external links, and all sorts of rich media. Workspaces are ideal for collaborating around longer-form content, from specialized knowledge-bases to dynamic field intelligence.
This ability to integrate with other applications inside a social platform is what separates Signals from other enterprise micro-blogging tools.
I especially like the “Signal This Edit” check-box at the top of every Socialtext workspace page. When you edit a wiki page, before you click Save, you have the option of Signaling the edit (along with an edit summary) with a single click.
The process is fast and easy, as it happens in the flow of what you’re already doing. You don’t copy the URL, then move over to your email client or a standalone micro-blogging solution, manually figure out who to send it to (and who even has access), type in a message, paste the URL, then send. Instead, you click one check-box, and the rest is taken care of for you.
At work today, we’re all so pressed for time. Signal This Edit provides your colleagues with instant status updates and links directly to what you’re working on, so they can collaborate with you in real time and help you serve your customers better and faster.