…cause I can make little or big email-like posts and @mention people…and the interface is so clean and simple.
I was sent a 3 paragraph email today with a few bullet points, a bold heading and an image…it was sent to 5 people in different teams…the email was of a simple nature “…we are doing this initiative, can you guys offer advise or help in anyway…”
When we look at enterprise activity stream tools they really lack in what Google+ offers ie. some formatting, space for bigger communications, and a real smooth interface.
Coming back to my example above; if your work had Yammer, Newsgator, Socialcast, Podio, Tibbr you would of had to resort to email.
…is this an #epicfail or not, what do you think?
Maybe I’m wrong…I’m just assuming these products have a character limit…but I know they allow for little formatting…and certainly don’t have the UX of Google+.
Now in relation to formatting and space…Neudesic Pulse could be better. The status updates tab doesn’t have it (actually I’m not sure if it has unlimited characters)…but if you click the “Articles” tab you can write a long-form communication with some minimal formatting. But you can also collaborate on it, and so forth…so it kind of feels more like an online pages/wiki page type thing…but it could be used for the use case above.
Facebook is similar in that it has Facebook Notes, which is a long-form, but only it has more a blog post like feel compared to the online page like feel of Neudesic Pulse Articles
Anyway, what I’m looking for is a status update tool that allows you to do what I do in email now, but doing it online instead.
ie. I want to write a status update that’s 3 paragraphs long with bold and bullet points and an image, and then @mention people
Hmmm…but I wouldn’t call it status updates, or microblogging, or blogging or wikis…I’d just call it “messages” or “posts”.
Google+ doesn’t have a name for it’s posts, all it says within the text box is “share what’s new…”
It also collapses and expands messages and comments perfectly so one message/comment never dominates the screen unless you want it to
Posts and Messages
Email is mostly known as messages
Blogs are posts (I don’t consider Tumblr/Posterous microblogging, they are just really easy blogging via a bookmarklet and simple interface)
Microblogs are status updates…which kind of blur the line between chatting and broadcasting (eg Facebook and Twitter)
If you ask me Google+ blurs this line the most, but it’s not really microblogging as there’s nothing “micro” about it…your posts can be “macro” if you want…Macroblogging is the most stupid term ever that I just made up…but I just feel Google+ is a little different
Whether it’s the example I gave above, or troubleshooting with colleagues using simple formatting and screenshots; there are still reasons why email is easier
eg posting a 3 paragraph message, with minimal formatting and pasting a couple of screenshots to 5 people
This takes a couple of minutes in email, whereas you can’t do it in microblogging…you can’t do the last bit in Google+ either (in my last post I pointed to Confluence being able to paste images)
If we look at our emails, what’s the average size…perhaps a couple of paragraphs, with some bullet points, bold text and an image easily pasted in here and there…there’s nothing micro about this
So then why is enterprise social software all crazy about microblogging…I get it that it’s easier than blogging and more engaging to be in a network, but an unlimited character limit and offering a few editing buttons won’t make it harder or less engaging.
If most of our emails aren’t that micro and often have formatting (bold/bullet points), then let’s allow messages in activity streams to reflect this
For example if 50% of our emails don’t have formatting, images, and are only one paragraph; then this 50% has a chance to be re-purposed in activity streams (rather than email)…but the other 50% will continue in email, unless activity streams make a few simple changes.
If we want our online messages to be more twitter like broadcasts, and simple conversations and questions, then that’s fine…this replaces a good portion of email. But if we also want posting online messages to do what most of email offers ie. the features that cater for all contexts of communication, then we need those simple changes
There’s more to say, but it was not the focus of this post; like types of posts (idea, task, event, question)…and also posting to a group from your main stream.
This post has focused just on “posting/sending messages”…whereas my previous post also covered productivity and managing your stream.
Search within an activity stream
Put people you follow in lists
Tag other peoples posts
My sent posts
Filter stream by post type (idea, event, task, question)
Filter your stream by person (I have only seen this on FMYI, and perhaps Socialtext)
Filter your stream by date (not sure if I have seen this anywhere, besides the Newsgator pivot viewer webpart…but this is separate from your main homepage)
A robust “notifications” page