// what do you think?


The Life and Death of Darcy Validate by Twitter

This isn’t the easiest post for me to write but I wanted to share an idea I had about two years ago, that I still think is a good idea, as well as some lessons I learned along the way.

The Birth of Darcy

Darcy was a code name for a project that Rich Breton and I came up with about 2 years ago. The genesis came from a phone conversation that I had with Ben Quintana while trying to set up a meeting. After about 4 or 5 back and forth emails Ben just called me. As we were getting off the phone Ben made some comment about how there should be a better way to do a meeting set up instead of emails. I made some comment like, “Yeah I’ll just blog it and tag it for you.”

It was at that moment that I had an epiphany. Bloggers talked all the time back and forth via blogs, RSS, Google and Technorati Alerts and email was seldom employed. Twitter was just starting up and that was already having an effect.

I was also in the middle of my 4th or 5th Outlook meltdown that year, which again resulted in me loosing everything. I began wondering why you couldn’t create an internal messaging system based on *blog like* post that alerted people via tags, like project name, their name or topic tag, then delivered those posts via RSS. You could even allow people to respond within the application which would post back to the original thread like a comment.

We worked up multiple ways that this could be built as an internal enterprise application (using Google’s mini search box, setting up system wide auto-tags, etc), as a SaaS version or as an integration into Google Apps, we were even looking at integrating into Outlook.

The Death of Darcy

Ultimately like most *good ideas* we never got off the ground, (not fully at least).  I was in the middle of my MBA and was consulting to bring in some income. Rich was trying to pick up side projects that both brought in some money and simultaneously helped build the CMS we were working on. He was also trying to do it all in a brand new language to him (Ruby on Rails).

Ultimately we tried to do too much. We had too many distractions and ultimately we both got a little burnt out and finally called it quits. At that time HP was recruiting me and Rich ended up going to join Ben at RIAFox (where they are working on a cool new project I’m very excited about).

Twitter Validates Darcy

So what does all of this have to do with Twitter? There are two key features in Twitter that show how the tagging system work. The example works much better if you’re using TweetDeck because of the way that it lets you manage @replies and #hashtags and your network.

To exemplify I’m going to write a fake post about the upcoming IgniteBoise event.

Subject Spring 09 IgniteBoise

@LGM1 @RizenCreative @WyattWerner @JGlerum @nipper I’ve been thinking about the venue for #IgniteBoise. I really like the #EgyptianTheatre because it’s downtown and has a very cool vibe. Wyatt have you been able to talk with @KrissaW about who #IdaVation talked to at the Egyptian yet?

I’ve also been thinking about sponsors for the event. @hwy12 and I haven’t been able to talk in great deal about #Highway12ventures being a sponsor but I know they are interested and @hwy12 will be a presenter. We still need to follow up with #HawleyTroxell #KPMG and #StoleRives. Any others?

I’ll be at the #NWEnergy summit the first part of this week so I may not be very responsive, not sure if they have wifi or not.

Now in this post I obviously had to go through and find all the hyperlinks (although Zemanta did a pretty good job of suggesting several of them). In Twitter by simply adding an @ or a # this creates the link in TweetDeck. TweetDeck also opens the @’s within the app and let’s you see who this person is and if you want to follow them and which group you’d like to add them to. And to be fair the # opens to the Twitter Search not the home page.

This example isn’t perfect and some of the differences I see for an internal communication tool would be the @username’s would be the same as a company email, each person would have their own and the hyperlink would open to a company directory page. The #hashtag would open to a wiki like page that has a search stream for that # and a any known static content. (You’re already seeing some wiki providers creating cool wiki mashup and profile pages like SocialText.)

I think that internal communication is heading in this direction. It may take a decade or so for us to get there. I think that the various wiki providers are pretty close but honestly Microsoft is probably the closest to this. With XML built into their entire platform now its not a stretch for them to connect Outlook and SharePoint in a similar fashion to this.

We even imagined auto searching and tagging all internal documents (MS Office) and IM (MS Communicator) If you really wanted to get Big Brother, turn all your phone’s to VOIP and run a voice to text program.

People could be alerted to project updates in real time based on project notes, emails, IM, etc. Some people think Enterprise RSS readers are dead, some don’t. I think that as stand alone applications this may hold some truth but Enterprise RSS, as a capability is just getting started IMO.

So if anyone out there wants to take this idea and run with it, feel free. If nothing else I hope you can learn from my mistakes.

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About Tac

Social media anthropologist. Communications strategist. Business model junkie. Chief blogger here at New Comm Biz.

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    Wow - I think I see a whole lesson plan on this for elementary school teachers in the future.

    BTW - I agree with you about #EgyptianTheater. I’ve been telling @WyattWerner that since #IgniteBoise started looking for a location. I think it’s an awesome venue with a cool atmosphere. Plus it has a snack bar!

  • http://www.redforddesign.com/blog Dave Redford

    Wow - I think I see a whole lesson plan on this for elementary school teachers in the future.

    BTW - I agree with you about #EgyptianTheater. I’ve been telling @WyattWerner that since #IgniteBoise started looking for a location. I think it’s an awesome venue with a cool atmosphere. Plus it has a snack bar!

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