Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chatter in Salesforce

My friend Steve sent me this demo video for a new Salesforce Appforce offering.  It claims to be the first "Social PS Enterprise Application".  If you are interested in Salesforce, PSA, or software in general then you should look this over.

They are twittering*, and having their spreadsheets and reports twitter in order to keep everyone up-to-date on the status of the projects.  It's a neat concept.

It is doomed to failure.  Companies will launch it in hopes of gaining the benefit of getting everyone on the same page.  Companies will dump it because the volume of information will be too great.  No one will read it.

At one point they showed a use of the twitter where one person reminded another to update a worker's availability because they finished a task a week early.  If you believe that the twitter stream (even a private twitter stream) is the right place for this information then you should never ever be involved in software design.  The right answer is for marking the task complete a week early to trigger the change in the user's availability.  No one should have to discuss that or actively make that happen.

Information overload is everywhere.  Software designers need to be cognizant of this.  They should never present data to someone who doesn't need it.  Unneeded data just pollutes the data stream and becomes spam.

* They call it 'chatter' in deference to twitter's copyright.

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