BirdSuit.png

Is the famously cute and chirpy little bird putting on a suit and getting serious? Yesterday I spoke to Ross Mayfield, co-founder, Chairman and President, and former CEO of Socialtext about how they are using Twitter Annotations in their enterprise social software.

We think of Twitter as a purely consumer phenomenon. It certainly started that way. But once a consumer site gets this level of traction, the enterprise folks pay serious attention. At first of course the attention is “how can marketing use Twitter to get more customers”. That has been happening for a while.

What is different is looking at Twitter within the enterprise.

This is where Twitter Annotations enter the picture. This changes the game for vendors offering microblogging within the enterprise. SocialText offers microblogging within the enterprise as do many others. But SocialText is positioning beyond features to become a “social layer” within the enterprise stack.
BirdSuit.png

Is the famously cute and chirpy little bird putting on a suit and getting serious? Yesterday I spoke to Ross Mayfield, co-founder, Chairman and President, and former CEO of Socialtext about how they are using Twitter Annotations in their enterprise social software.

We think of Twitter as a purely consumer phenomenon. It certainly started that way. But once a consumer site gets this level of traction, the enterprise folks pay serious attention. At first of course the attention is “how can marketing use Twitter to get more customers”. That has been happening for a while.

What is different is looking at Twitter within the enterprise.

This is where Twitter Annotations enter the picture. This changes the game for vendors offering microblogging within the enterprise. SocialText offers microblogging within the enterprise as do many others. But SocialText is positioning beyond features to become a “social layer” within the enterprise stack.

Twitter As A Message Bus

Annotations turns Twitter into a Message Bus. The messages can include metadata about the sorts of things that make an enterprise hum, such as:

• the deal closed!

• inventory alert, we are running low on xyz

• somebody just said on some social site that our new product sucks

All of these trigger people to take some other actions. In the old process-driven enterprise this could happen at a leisurely pace. In the real time economy, speed is of the essence.

So, the kind of alert driven action that financial traders have been doing for decades is now becoming normal in many other jobs.

Yet Another Enterprise Message Bus?

Enterprises have been using Message Bus architectures with PubSub for a long time. There are plenty of strong vendors in this space such as TIBCO, IBM and Sonic.

But a Twitter based message bus is different. It is a social message bus. The old style enterprise was process-driven. “You only do this after somebody else has done that and after Fred and Janet have approved it and ….”. Some businesses and units within businesses still work that way and for good reason.

But the more creative, high value parts of an enterprise don’t work this way. The style of work is much more ad hoc, adaptive and agile. Some people are calling the “adaptive process management” and it is a big trend. It is not quite free format social media style (although that is a part of it). Nor is it old style bureaucratic process management. It is a mix of the two.

That is where Twitter Annotations plays. Or maybe Annotations within an internal enterprise microblogging platform? The base idea of adding metadata to a status update can be done by any microblogging platform.

We expect to see a lot more innovation in this area and SocialText is interesting as they are taking a leadership position in this emerging space.

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Twitter As A Message Bus

Annotations turns Twitter into a Message Bus. The messages can include metadata about the sorts of things that make an enterprise hum, such as:

• the deal closed!

• inventory alert, we are running low on xyz

• somebody just said on some social site that our new product sucks

All of these trigger people to take some other actions. In the old process-driven enterprise this could happen at a leisurely pace. In the real time economy, speed is of the essence.

So, the kind of alert driven action that financial traders have been doing for decades is now becoming normal in many other jobs.

Yet Another Enterprise Message Bus?

Enterprises have been using Message Bus architectures with PubSub for a long time. There are plenty of strong vendors in this space such as TIBCO, IBM and Sonic.

But a Twitter based message bus is different. It is a social message bus. The old style enterprise was process-driven. “You only do this after somebody else has done that and after Fred and Janet have approved it and ….”. Some businesses and units within businesses still work that way and for good reason.

But the more creative, high value parts of an enterprise don’t work this way. The style of work is much more ad hoc, adaptive and agile. Some people are calling the “adaptive process management” and it is a big trend. It is not quite free format social media style (although that is a part of it). Nor is it old style bureaucratic process management. It is a mix of the two.

That is where Twitter Annotations plays. Or maybe Annotations within an internal enterprise microblogging platform? The base idea of adding metadata to a status update can be done by any microblogging platform.

We expect to see a lot more innovation in this area and SocialText is interesting as they are taking a leadership position in this emerging space.

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