Many companies have utilized the power of Twitter - the short messaging service that enables discussions about current events, products and industry topics - for the purposes of marketing and customer service. But examples of bringing this technology, known as microblogging, into the enterprise for the purposes of collaboration remain nascent.
But Lisa Bertero Palmer, senior vice president of Davies, a public affairs firm, is in the process of rolling out an internal, Twitter-like experience for approximately 50 employees in geographically dispersed locations throughtout the country. The goal, so far, has been pretty simple.
"We've been using it as a way to vastly increase efficiency while cutting down on e-mail," Palmer says. "People will share pieces of knowledge or key actions they've taken throughout the day."
There are a few vendors that have tried to bring the Twitter-like experience into the enterprise, and Davies settled on Enterprise 2.0 vendor Socialtext - a company that takes Web 2.0 technologies and tailors them for business use.
The vendor recently released Socialtext Signals, a product that allows employees to share short messages and keep each other updated on business activities such editing a document, heading out for a business trip or meeting with a client.
Signals was not first to market in microblogging for the enterprise. Yammer, for instance, replicated the Twitter experience for the enterprise. But according to Ross Mayfield, president of Socialtext, Signals integrates with existing social technologies.
"There's a lot of standalone Twitter clones out there," Mayfield says. "The difference with what we've done is bring an integrated experience across social collaboration tools. The other ones are their own silo."
Signals works with Socialtext's flagship wiki product, an application that allows employees to jointly edit and read documents, as well as Socialtext People, which builds Facebook-like profiles for the enterprise. Other social software vendors, such as Six Apart and Automattic, have also added microblogging to their existing products.
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.