The Next Phase of Microblogging


Microblogging received a lot of criticism in its early days as one-dimensional. Its value quickly caught on as new features were added by companies such as Yammer, Tibco Tibbr, Qontext and a host of others.

Now comes the next phase of microblogging. And that’s the full integration into workflows. The latest incarnation comes from Socialcast, led by Tim Young, who now serves as vice president of social enterprise for VMware, which acquired the startup earlier this year.

The new service is called Strides and it combines microblogging with task management. That’s a compelling combination.  Applications ride on waves of data that are so intense now that conventional methods for consumption can not keep pace. Email is still the norm for communication but it is cumbersome and takes people out of a critical flow. That’s especially true for developers and engineers whose best work comes when they can work in a fluid manner, immersed in their code.

Strides uses a two pane window that gives the user a view of the tasks at hand and the correlating conversation that relates to it. You can see a task and discuss it in a real-time stream.

Socialcast designed the service to allow people to view profiles, the number of tasks they need to do and have completed. People can “like” an item just like in a social network.

Other companies working in the social task management space include Asana, Cohuman and Teamly.

Services Angle

Microblogging is a fundamental aspect of the modern application. This is still not widely recognized by most large, enterprise focused technology companies. VMware and do get the new wave and now are battling in a race to the top of the stack. Both are trying to become $10 billion companies by offering modern applications that provide a richer and more fluid experience than people can get through Microsoft Office. There are trade offs. Microsoft is showing it can develop modern applications, too. The issue is the operating system, which is becoming increasingly irrelevant in a world that works on the Web.

There is so much to learn from this new generation of service providers. Strides is an example of what to expect as microblogging provides deeper capabilities for the modern information worker.