Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Apple Entering the Enterprise 2.0 Market?

Last week I was browsing the apple website for software and came across some very interesting features in the new OS X Snow Leopard Server software. It appears apple have have made quite a large contribution to incorporating many collaborative tools into their enterprise product. I then attempted to do some research about how the company have recognised the importance of enterprise 2.0 however the information was very scarce. I couldn’t even find a blogger who has also noted this. So I decided to put it out there as an apple mac user myself to spread the word.

The main collaborative application included in OS X server is titled Wiki server, although contrary to the name suggests it does a lot more then just wiki’s. Apple advertise this simply as “Easy Group Collaboration”. From a collaborative business perspective, they offer the whole shebang. They primarily cater for enterprise level wiki and blog creation. All with fully customizable comments, tags and many other 2.0 goodies. Also they have pushed the idea of sharing information and building your brand by including ‘Podcast Producer’. Which makes recording, editing and publishing podcasts and vodcasts so quick and easy that anyone can do it! Many enterprises can benefit from this software and it is interesting to know the some of the big players are realising the importance of colaboration and including these tools in their enterprise software.

Apple OS X Wiki Server

Google – taking over your browser one side at a time!

Website annotation has been around for sometime now with services such as shadows, TrailFire, and Dingo but haven’t really taken off…Enter Google with their edition of website annotation titled SideWiki!

So what is it all about?  Sidewiki allows any Google user to place comments on an entire page or even selected sections of a web page. These comments are listed in a retractable toolbar down the side of your browser. They have also included the option to embed images and videos into the comment however in my brief search I haven’t seen it done yet.

So how do they control things like spammers and flamers? The have used a ranking system where users can vote up or down on comments. Comments with more votes up directly affect that users ‘ranking’. Users with high ranking or reputation will be placed towards the top of the sidewiki hierarchy and low rating users will be stomped down to the bottom where no one will read them. In my opinion this sounds like an effective measure. Chris Doble talked about this concept in his recent post disscussing Kevin Rose’s suggestions for taking your site from one to one million users. Kevin suggested that giving users an “ego” to work on gives them an incentive to post good material and to get involved positively. Sidewiki has done that well because not only does one ‘flame’ take down that comments rating, it affects that users overall positioning on all other pages. This is a huge incentive to help other users and collaborate. Very Web 2.0 like.

So I took the liberty of giving SideWiki a go and had some pretty pleasing results. It’s not everywhere yet but found it in heavy use at TechCrunch and also at sites such as reddit. It seems to be currently used as a reviewing type system where users are saying, I use this website for this, it is good for this etc. I can see this being very useful if it is taken on by the wider public as a very, very helpful tool in research. Having short summaries and recommendations before you read an entire journal would be very beneficial to students and researchers in particular.

Overall it seems like a good thing, but like all web 2.0 tools you need people to come on board to get the ball rolling. The only strongly disappointing feature of Google SideWiki is…. it is bundled with Google toolbar (yes, the screen hogging, colourful pictures and auto-filling nightmare). Hence the reason why I am about to uninstall the add on and end my google SideWiki experience for now. Fingers are crossed that they will release a standalone add-on in the near future!

~Jamie

Google SideWiki being used with reddit

Why You Should Use Producteev

Throughout my blogging I have found many web 2.0 tools being used used in the enterprise and even had a go at using some such a yammer, basecamp etc. Yesterday I stumbled across what i believe to be the best one so far, Producteev. It is an all in one collaborative project management tool with a very nice ‘web 2.0’ look and feel. It’s very user friendly with drag and drop features and very intuitive navigation.

So you create a task that appears as a rounded box in which to can add “To-do’s” inside the task. Within each of these you can set the description of the project or task, and also note the progress that has been made, status deadline and more. Also your colleagues can comment on the task to update progress or ask questions to other member of the team participating in the task.

Add tasks and view current projects in the dashboard

Add tasks and view current projects in the dashboard

All of these tasks are then linked in with the “Time line” widget which integrates with your tasks panel. It has three views, the calendar view(pictured below) which really helped me to organise due dates for my current projects, you can also which to daily or weekly view which can show specific dealines and time and teh progress you have made towards them. I used the daily view at work to schedule my appointments and make sure I had planned the repairs so I didnt run out of time, and it worked really well.

Schedule tasks and review dealines in the timeline screen

Schedule tasks and review dealines in the timeline screen

The third part of producteev I thought was great was the live feed section. This shows you all the status updates of colleagues on tasks that have been set and also incorporates a micro-blogging concept as well. On top of this the notion of collaboration is reinforced by the option to collaborate and share on all tasks, feeds, posts etc. Integration with twitter and facebook also encourage sharing out public tasks to members of the community to let them know how your progressing on projects.

View status updates and also update your status in with the twitter like micro-blogging feature

View status updates and also update your status in with the twitter like micro-blogging feature

Ontop of all the features I have covered there are still more, such as file upload and sharing, the ability to set public and private tasks, smart filter tasks and more. In my hour or so playing around with this I can only say it was a pleasant experience, it was a little buggy at times but this is only a very new product and can only improve with time. I’ve set up a student based account which allows up to 40 members in a team so if you would like to be invited let me know and we can test it out. There is only a certain amount of testing that can be done by myself. I can highly recommend Producteev as one of the better enterprise 2.0 tools i have experienced so far, with its multiple functions, integration with so many services and ease of use its definitely something to think about in your business or education group.

~Jamie

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