Dec 14, 2009 comments: Comments Off
Microsoft launched a new Silverlight-powered Bing Maps experience into beta, which offered a myriad of new features including powerful visualisation that stitches together images contributed by users (yes, clients’ favourite “UGC”) into 3D photo collages, via their Photosynth technology.
Both Microsoft and Google are experimenting with a variety of tools that make hunting for locations far more immersive, and they’ve a new Application Gallery that enables developers to include their own information on a map. If they are able to open the platform up to more developers (and hopefully for the platform to come to our shores soon), we are then able to truly realise the vision of making maps more like a video game than an Atlas utility. Imaging a virtual walkthrough of places you have never been before (possibly an idea for tourism boards), leveraging on local insights for specific data ranging from tweets, blog posts, local lens, videos, and even real time vodcasts.
While we’re sure Bing will continue to open up the technology to developers and to further enhance its visualisation properties, one can only hope they also improve the loading speed (if only its available here and we have the New Generation Broadband to overcome this challenge), the usability with the influx of functionalities, and of course for a growing pool of hungry photography prosumers to contribute colour vibrant pictures for massive stitching.
The social phenomenon is not a homogeneous one. Alot of us tend to focus on “social quick fixes” by extending social footprint into our communications strategies. However, there are giants out there revolutionising their workspaces with social software that vow to innovate with viral adoption techniques, providing communication, portal, content and general collaboration platform offerings. Bundled support for real time messaging and conferencing, document management, workflow and business process modeling/support continue to blur boundaries between social softwares and other workflow technologies.
The most common struggle in improving “connectedness” within organizations is in balancing risk and business value, as well as the empowerment of end-users promised by social environments. However, there are critical benefits including virtual collaborations, cross-border talent identification and expertise lending, informal network support to empower communities of experts and common interests, and accessing relevant knowledge needed to formulate plans.
As a start, here is a list of minimal functionality required when evaluating social softwares:
1.) Multiple-User Management – ability to create, modify, retire user accounts, as well as support for multiple roles including editor, facilitator, community manager etc.
2.) Project/Community Brainstorm Areas- ability to create themed common spaces for like-minded users to get together, and brainstorm virtually
3.) Document storage and sharing – an easy-to-use and automated organization function to upload, store and share files.
4.) Discussion forums – support for a conducive environment to have virtual discussion and the ability for moderation
5.) Blogs – instant publishing functions with comments function
6.) Wikis – Internal linking, word clouds, etc
7.) Ability to support & integrate multimedia from existing platforms such as YouTube etc.
8.) Enabling of social functionality & sharing for content such as social network analysis, social tagging, social bookmarking, social search, etc
9.) Keep a record of all tangible data via generic analytics; the software should ideally be compatible with the Big Boys like Omniture, Google, etc.
10.) Last but not least, the degree to which the vendor is investing in R&D to continue innovation the tool. Creative energy in committing to new browser-based technologies like Ajax and browser-based rich authoring/content recommendations will bring more traction to your investment.
As Jive says, business is now social. Enjoy~