Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

At Joint Contact we’ve heard from a lot of people interested our use and adoption of Twitter.  While many speculate if Twitter can actually be used for something useful, we are having no problems seeing how it can be used in our service.  This includes the ability to communicate project status, as well as the ability to organize Tweets.

With our latest release, Joint Contact now includes the ability to send automated Tweets when users add documents, images or tasks.  A function usually reserved for email, now team members can receive these messages through Twitter and its many tools.

Why do this?  As written in a recent article from ReadWriteWeb, communication with team members can now extend beyond the desktop because Twitter supports native text messaging (SMS).  This means that a manager can receive project updates using just their cell phone, even without internet access. Also Twitter is just plain fun – many professionals already use the platform for quick messages and basic communications (2 million users and counting at the time of this posting).

One question you may have is “Isn’t that insecure?  Using Twitter for business doesn’t make any sense unless I can secure it like email.”  We’ve also thought of this and would like to show how you can start using Twitter for business using Joint Contact and protected updates.

Twitter Notification Using Protected Updates
In this example we are updating an existing  Joint Contact task.  At the bottom of the interface we’ve set the option for “Send to Twitter”.  Once saved, our changes are updated in Joint Contact and a summary of the event is sent to Twitter.

The Twitter account used is a special account type known as a protected profile.  Protected Twitter profiles have the following properties:

1. Protected updates are not searchable or viewable by the general public.  This means that people cannot access these Twitter updates by simply typing in a URL.  Each user who views your updates must be authenticated by Twitter.  Here’s an example of someone trying to access our protected account without the proper authentication. As we can see access to the account is blocked.

2. Protected profile owners must approve “follow requests” to allow new people to view their updates.  This means you are in direct control over who views your messages.  It also means spammers cannot read your updates or send you unsolicited messages.  Here’s an example of what the approval window looks like.

If you are looking to establish Twitter for business communication we suggest configuring each team member’s account to support protected updates.  This way your group can gain all of the service advantages without sacrificing security. 

Let us know what questions, thoughts or ideas you may have. To learn more about Joint Contact and Twitter visit What’s Your Status as well as Why Twitter Matters to Joint Contact.

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In our blog posting entitled “Why Twitter Matters to Joint Contact” we announced plans to integrate Joint Contact with the popular microblogging service called Twitter. Since then we’ve received a lot of media attention as one of the first (if not the first) to consider Twitter for business communications.


The folks at WebWorkerDaily had a chance to catch up with us and we had a great discussion about project collaboration and the role social media could play in business productivity.


At Arbutus we think business professionals are increasingly using social media technologies to communicate. Examples include blogs, wiki’s, and social networks. Twitter, however, is still thought of as a fun, casual way to stay connected with friends and co-workers.


While early adopters use Twitter as a social communication tool, we acknowledge Twitter’s potential as a business communications platform. Why? Because there’s a growing trend of people using Twitter as a replacement for email. As a result we’ve been able to implement some straightforward powerful features that build on our goal of integrating project collaboration and social media.


What’s your status?
For our latest product release our goal was to answer this question.  In addition to sending Conversations titles directly to Twitter, account holders can now update their current work status using their profile. For example, a team member can type “Organizing the committee meeting,” send that to Twitter, and other team members can access the Tweet using their cell phone, iPhone, desktop computer or another Twitter enabled website:



Your status is also saved to the Joint Contact Team Profile.  (The Team Profile provides contact information for members who share at least one workspace with you).   The Team Profile now becomes a manager’s dream-come-true as interested parties can always check on a group’s current status.



Making it work with your business
Ready to give it a try? If you’re already using Twitter we recommend that you create a second Twitter account for business. That way you can separate your business and personal Tweets. Once established, just add your Twitter credentials to your Joint Contact profile settings.


One advantage Twitter brings to business is its ability to be accessed by more devices / services than email. For example, a Tweet from Joint Contact can be received on a cell phone as text message.


Don’t Twitter? No worries! You can still use everything in Joint Contact without Twitter. This includes providing team status updates through the Team Profile as well as all the functionality in our Conversations module.

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We are pleased to announce that micro bloggers can now post entries from Joint Contact directly to Twitter!   With the Internet world in a craze about Twitter we wanted to explain not only why Twitter matters,  but why we think it matters to Joint Contact.


The Concept
Twitter introduces a new concept in online communication known as micro blogging. Unlike a traditional blog, or even a text message or IM, a micro blog through Twitter limits your text communication to 140 characters.  Since the message size is limited, people use mirco blogs to send quick messages for communicating status.  Online services like Twitter have proven to be an innovative solution for up-to-the minute marketing, as micro bloggers can broadcast quick messages about a new website, blog entry or product launch.


Micro blogging meets project collaboration
By integrating with Twitter, Joint Contact allows individuals to communicate their project status with other Joint Contact users as well as their Internet followers on Twitter.  Since people access Twitter messages using mobile devices as well as PC’s, it allows users to receive project messages from any Twitter enabled device. This includes the iPhone as well as popular desktop applications like Twhirl).



How it works
To get started, create a free Twitter account, then add your Twitter credentials to your Joint Contact profile. Once added, you can automatically send the title of any Joint Contact Conversation (aka message or discussion group) directly to Twitter.  Why Conversations?  This is place where messaging and group collaboration occurs.



The Twitter integration is an option available with any new or existing Conversation. Since Twitter only supports 140 characters per post, Joint Contact paragraph bodies are not included Twitter postings.


The ability to send Twitter messages from Joint Contact also solves another micro blogging challenge – managing your postings.   In our example below Twitter messages (Tweets) have been created based on a series of Joint Contact Conversations. Since Conversations are assigned to workspaces, Tweets can be organized by project folder and can also be combined with other actions. Here we see a few Conversations that have been linked to Documents and Images (see icons). These messages were also sent to our Internet followers as Tweets.



The integration of Twitter with Joint Contact opens up a new world of possibilities in the area of project collaboration. For those looking for a more robust Twitter client (and that’s a lot of us) it provides a means of not only being able to track Tweets, but the ability to manage Twitter communications with other related work items.


Note: To learn more about Joint Contact and Twitter check out our latest blog entry entitled What’s your status?

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