Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Benefits of Activity Streams and their Implications for UI and Customer Care

I wanted to share a very interesting article that I read this week on the Software Advice blog about Activity Streams. Activity streams are a list of recent activities on a website, that provides direct links to the most up-to-date content and contributors in a social site. An activity stream is a feature made most famous by public social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and they are are quickly becoming prominent in enterprise software.

Blog author, Derek Singleton, points out some benefits of activity streams in a manufacturing organization. He lists ways that activity streams can improve manufacturing software UIs including their potential to:

1. Automate reminders to keep projects flowing;

2. Stream educational information along with project tasks; and,

3. Indicate which projects are most important and require immediate action

Read Derek’s fantastic post and join the conversation about use cases for activity streams for your business!

Derek has pointed out some key benefits to the activity stream. I would like to point out another way the activity stream can enable a extended enterprise community.

This topic is close to my heart, because microblogging and activity feed features are so prominent in the Saba Online Community. Powered by the Saba People Cloud, our homepage features the activity feed function and I can see where activity feeds often foster conversations between our members that would otherwise not occur.

For example, today the activity feed helped to shape and promote an upcoming user conference.

See the way it appeared on the homepage - with links for many options. You can:

*Enter the discussion forum

*See only the first response (while remaining on the homepage)

*Scroll through all responses

*Find out more about the community member who posted the question

A conference track owner posted a question asked for feedback from our LMS customers. This was posted in the LMS group, and notifications only went out to the group members.

Of course he wouldn’t have wanted to notify all community members, so that he wouldn’t be spamming customers who are not interested in the LMS, and who haven’t opted-in to be notified about LMS conversations.

After his post, I saw responses from many LMS customers and partners, but also members who were not members of the LMS Group. They offered their advice for session topics. I also saw an influx of new subscribers for our conference page. Because of the easy to expand listing on the public activity feed, his content reached a larger audience on their own terms, allowing all community members to provide feedback on the presentations in our upcoming user event without annoying them with unsolicited emails, and promoting the event at the same time.

What are some benefits of the activity stream?

What are some drawbacks?

How does your organization foster conversation using social media functionality?

1 comment:

  1. A great feature.....just going through our perfomance page we can easily get all the updates and activities we had performed.