Social media is everywhere these days. We all hear about Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, Twitter and other such sites every day. We get emails referring us to them, new add-ons, plugins and widgets are born every minute and the phenomena is covered regularly even by the traditional media. And now it’s no longer used only by individuals, as it was in the first phase. Businesses are finding it important, sometimes crucial to “be there”. Take us for example – we have a Twitter account (http://twitter.com/Testuff), we participate in testing related forums, we have a LinkedIn company’s identity and we have a blog (have you noticed :-) ? ). Our experience shows it helps and can benefit any company, however it should be regarded as one of the many marketing tools a company has. It started with newspaper ads or articles, then came the Internet and now you have many new and exciting channels to reach your audience.
Can Social Media Tools work with “real” apps?
We were wondering if it will be possible to harness the power and appeal of these tools for other applications, business apps, those you find when you turn on your PC at work, not at home… Our intention was to find what we called “the third floor”. First floor being the individual using social media sites and tools for personal use. On the second floor corporates enter the game and use it as a marketing, sales and PR channels. On the third, our floor, we intended to use ideas and tools that were created by and for the social media, and incorporate those into how we work. We enjoy the fact that users know them, got used to them and are happy with them (100’s of millions of users can’t be wrong). It’s only a natural progression to bring those elements into the workspace. The main problem was to find a way to get more of it, than just the “social” part. In a business-like application you want to see features that help your do your job, make it easier for you to perform whatever it is you are tasked with. Purely keeping in touch with colleagues can’t help much and won’t be enough. We also wanted to keep it simple. This is the way we do things here at Testuff anyway. We thought it would be best if we start with a simple, focused idea, and take it from there.
After many discussions and a few weeks down the line a decision was made. Integrating Twitter into Testuff. Remembering our intention to create useful features, and not just “cool” or “fun” toys, we came up with “Twistuff“. With Twistuff, our users can follow up on their testing progress and tests results automatically, by receiving test-tweets automatically from Testuff. The user is free to choose which Twitter account to use, and they can select the type of updates as well. For a tester, a group of testers and a test team manager this can be a productivity tool, for follow up, to know about other testers test results, to get messages about identified defects etc. Not just Testuff users can enjoy Twistuff. Others in the company (developers, managers) can see the daily summaries and keep up to date too. All they need to do is follow one twitter account.
If it goes well, and the feedback is positive, we will continue and enhance it, looking for more ideas how to use existing, familiar ways to our users, to make their job more productive, and a little more fun.