Jinfo BlogEnterprise microblogging solutions offer a private place for open communication

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By Africa S. Hands

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Abstract

The popularity of Twitter, with its fast, easy way of communicating with the masses, caught on quickly bringing microblogging to the social media spotlight. However, the ability to communicate via Twitter may not be adequate for enterprise communications. Enter enterprise microblogging solutions.

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The popularity of Twitter, with its fast, easy way of communicating with the masses, caught on quickly bringing microblogging to the social media spotlight. Not only are friends and family posting short messages to one another but also colleagues, news outlets, celebrities and brands. Professors have used Twitter to post class assignments, groups have collaborated, and co-workers are kept abreast of projects via the microblogging platform.

Much of this activity is done via public accounts and timelines. Those wanting privacy have the option to protect their tweets, accepting invites from select followers. Although the ability to communicate privately is available, it may not be adequate for enterprise communications and projects conducted by information professionals. The business community needed a way to have the same brief conversations but in a closed environment with more control. Businesses also needed a way to collaborate with colleagues, tag postings and filter postings based on tags, and follow particular users and projects, among other needs. Enter enterprise microblogging solutions.

Several enterprise microblogging solutions are in the marketplace such as Socialcast, Present.ly and Yammer. The Next Web reviewed the services back in 2008. Yammer, with a client list of close to 200,000 businesses including Fortune 500 companies, recently has had very successful funding rounds demonstrating support of such services and a need within the business community.

Enterprise microblogging services are definitely useful to information professionals who are managing various projects and clients and have a need for more secure, controlled means of communicating and sorting through information.

What should information professionals look for in an enterprise microblogging service?

Security, of course, is of utmost importance when dealing with confidential client communications and projects. Platform and operating system compatibility should be considered if you are planning to use the service with mobile devices and across varying operating systems and versions. The ability to integrate the service with existing applications with some company developer control is another important feature.

Of course, there also is the option of building your own platform as Siemens did when the company created the References@BT microblog. After discovering that employees were actively using Yammer, the company decided to create an in-house application rather than rely on the security of a third party, externally hosted site. This might be feasible depending on your company’s resources.

Twitter has served, and continues to serve, information professionals well as a source for news, posting industry updates, presentation slides and friendly conversation. When we get down to the business managing client and project information, collaborating, and organising conversations, an enterprise microblogging solution may be a better option. As the market grows, information professionals may find just the right service for our needs.

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