3 New Social Media Tools that Startups should know about
November 9, 2009 by Bernard Leong
Recently, we introduced a set of 6 social media tools which start-ups should be tapping on in dealing with PR, marketing and branding issues. One advantage is that a start-up being nimble and quick, can find applications on social media tools that can distribute, share and gather feedback on their products and services in a very quick rate. Given that social media is a ever-changing landscape all over the world, and the buzz that are ongoing from twitter lists, enterprise microblogging via Yammer to google wave, we decide to give you a list of three new social media tools (or feature in existing social media tools) that you should know about.
Google Wave: It is the latest craze but the invites are limited. Anyone who has the invite and turned on their google wave account (@googlewave.com) find this new web-based collaboration tool notoriously difficult to understand. For more information on Google Wave, Gina Trapani (co-founder of LifeHacker.com and panelist on Leo Laporte‘s new show “This Week in Google“) and Adam Pash wrote a fantastic guide on Google Wave (for dummies, check out Mashable’s guide on Google Wave), and they defined it to be a “new online communications tool that enables groups of people to edit and discuss documents simultaneously on the web”.
Google Wave has a few features for online collaboration:
- Instantaneous Communication, Natural Language Capability & Playback: you can see what your collaborator is typing his message in the same instant when you may be doing the same. You can also playback a google wave conversation and do note that Google Wave can autocorrect your spelling or auto-translate to another language at the same time.
- Open Source and Build Extensions and Applications: By the way, the Google Wave API is open source and available for developers. You can build applications within the waves, from search bots, events management to complex real-time games. I have seen a Sudoku app deployed within a wave by some programmers in Singapore Google Wave Users. In fact, Google is going to set up an apps store for Google Wave store which will be out soon (which means we smell an opportunity).
- Wiki Functionality & Drag-Drop File Sharing: You can edit anything written in a Google wave that is written by anyone else, as all wave conversations are shared in the platform. You can correct, append information or add your own comments in a developing wave conversation. I can see team members in a project can do a collaborative business plan that hooks a google document in the wave, and that saves the email space that you keep sending each other which may accumulate to a large filesize. You can drag your file into a Google Wave and allow everyone to access and download it.
Twitter Lists: The new feature that Twitter has recently launched allows you to organize the people that you are following on Twitter or find new people who might be influential in your area of work. One way to think of Twitter lists, is like what you used to do with Facebook groups. How do you use Twitter lists? You create a list that groups people, organizations or news feeds so that you can get a snapshot in what’s happening in real time by going thru that list page. The most interesting feature about twitter list is that it allows you to organize people who you are following and allow you to include people who you are not following. In fact, you can organize news feeds like SGEntrepreneurs, E27, TechCrunch, Mashable, Malaysia Entrepreneurs, Mashable into a list so that you can check out real time news similar to how you do RSS feeds in the Google Reader. On another note, one intrinsic application for Twitter lists is to allow you to access how influential a blogger, news feed or organization is by looking at how many lists they are on.
Yammer: For those who want to keep internal communications private among the company, Yammer is an interesting social media service that allows employees to connect and share by posting messages with a twitter like interface. You can grow the participation within the company and it will becomes a corporate social network, discussion board, and knowledge base all rolled into one easy-to-use interface. In fact, Yammer allows you to create organization charts and share knowledge within the organization. One reason why some corporations or startups might prefer Yammer than Twitter, is because the latter is only accessible by employees with a valid company email address and each company registered in Yammer can add security restrictions by claiming their network. By the way, the team in SGEntrepreneurs used Yammer to communicate our to-do list and milestones reached. One interesting application of Yammer is that you can access it via a smart-phone where there is a iPhone, Android and Blackberry.
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About The Author
Bernard Leong - Co-Founder
Dr Bernard Leong is currently in Vistaprint as a technology manager, where he manages an engineering team and builds new products for emerging markets. His former entrepreneurial stints include CTO and co-founder of Chalkboard where he has architected the platform for location based advertising across web and mobile, and also an early stage investor in Thymos Capital with Lunch Actually, Padlet and iHipo. His accolades include the Young Professional of the Year Award for the Singapore Computer Society 2010 and Outstanding Young Alumni for National University of Singapore 2007. His expertise includes technology and social media. Currently, Bernard also serves as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with INSEAD Business School and taught courses in entrepreneurship in NTU.Read other posts by Bernard Leong