Have you ever worked on a very small team - with three, maybe five people, all sitting in the same room, where if you ever have a question you can just ask bob
, and bob is right there
, all the time? Isn't it amazing? Don't you get tons of stuff done?
Don't you wish every project could be like that?
But they aren't. Soon you find yourself stuck in a cube, emailed a document that may or may not be accurate, and you don't even know who to ask
to figure out
what the right thing to do is. You're pretty sure Bob over in the Analysis group knows who to ask, but Bob isn't at his desk, and when you email him and ask, he sends an email back that you shouldn't need to talk to anyone in "the business" and "the answers are in the requirements document."
This actually happened to me, more than once, at a gig a few years back where we were physically co-located. Now I work from home and don't have those problems.
Why? Well, part of the answer is that we use Socialtext, software designed to take that pain away and make the organization feel like a small team again. Strictly speaking, I suppose you could call Socialtext Collaboration Software; another term for that might be Enterprise Social Software.
Those are all fancy terms for "make it feel like a small team again."
How do we do that? Socialtext starts with a wiki
, which means editable web-pages but also includes micro-blogging and an interactive company directory, along with a high-level dashboard so you can see the activity of everyone, people you follow, or people in your group.
You can also create an organize groups on the fly - everything from the test team, to your project team, to the people working on the company visioning document, or something more important like people who play chess at lunch. My colleague Alan Lapofsky created two videos, one that is a general introduction to Socialtext
, another is an introduction to the groups in Socialtext 4.0
And, while we released to Production every two weeks, we just releases Socialtext 4.0, the Groups functionality, last week.
Want to try it for free?
You can try Socialtext 4.0 for up to fifty users for free right now on the Socialtext website
. The software is deployed through a browser, so unless you want to pay for an on-site appliance, there is no software to install. (We also have a desktop client you can install if you'd like; that is a simple install, no server to configure.) It also remains free as long as you have less than fifty users, one workspace, and don't need support.
Another option, which allows for multiple workspaces, is the 30-day trial
, but that is time-limited.
Of course you could sign up for Socialtext to test it yourself, but I suspect you'd have a lot more fun testing it by using it to actually organize a project or record a test plan, or collaborate with co-workers on something.
Anyway, I think it's personally reasonable to ask gurus to show their work. I'm rather proud of it; I hope you agree.