May 8 2010
Workstreamer flowed right off the internet in what can only be described as a massive dam breach. We remember them fondly, kind of. Sometimes.
Ever see the movie “Doubt?” It’s a depressing move. But there was one cool scene in it, in which Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s character, a priest bedeviled by spurious accusations, tells a story from the pulpit. The short of it is this: Go to the roof of your home, rip open a pillow, and watch the feathers flutter everywhere. Then wait an hour, collect the feathers, and put them back in the pillow. That, my friends is gossip.
Get it? Once the cat’s out of the bag, once a bad word is said, it is hard to un-do. Can’t put toothpaste back in the tube. And this reality is all the more urgent for businesses in this world of Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, LinkedIn, etc., where a little bad press can sink the ship. Or the opposite: something super-cool about your business could be said, but you have no idea about it. How can you intelligently filter all this information? Workstreamer, for starters.
Workstreamer, in their own words, “was created with the idea that business professionals need a way to receive relevant company news, social media conversations, contact updates and other related business information happening on the web. Actively listening to myriads of sources such as news sites, blogs, Twitter and LinkedIn, workstreamer filters, processes, ranks and streams only relevant pieces of business information related to a users role in an organization.” Workstreamer: the National Security Agency of the digital world; no guilt-inducing illegal wiretaps necessary. Better yet, it’s free.
For someone who wades in the radioactive marshes of these new digital mediums, Workstreamer is offering something pretty valuable. So I took it for a test drive. I registered, and was prompted to select companies to track. There were five suggested companies, so I picked Whole Foods Market. I was taken to a dashboard-like page, where I saw Whole Foods and below it, a bunch of icons indicated the source of the “gossip” – YouTube, Wikipedia, Facebook, etc. The YouTube page took me to WholeFoods’ page; Wikipedia to their Wikipedia page, etc. There was also a column called “Recent Tone” that had some search tags below; couldn’t necessarily make out a tone, per se, but when clicking on a word, I was taken to a “Tone Cloud,” which is super-dreamy.
The “Tone Cloud” (below) is a great place to be – it’s the place I was searching for up until that point: it’s the aggreggate list of messages, gossip, etc., pertaining to Whole Foods, across each day. The most intriguing message was “Found 171 Twitter messages for Whole Foods Market.” That’s where the juicy, nasty stuff is. I clicked on “Top Tweets” and poof! instantly below popped up a sub-window, with a scroll bar. I learned, for example, “WanderlustCraig” is “at Whole Foods Market w/ @designerjeff.” Thanks Craig! I tease Craig in good fun: his status isn’t exactly news of national security importance, but that’s ok, as the scroll-down makes it easy to skip past it.
Almost immediately, it was evident that Workstreamer would be a great tool for Sales and Marketing folks. I mean, let’s be honest, why are we on LinkedIn – for friends? No way, we have enough friends. We’re there for access, for new opportunities – clients. Money. Cash. Babylon. This is why – and forgive me, Workstreamer, if I missed this – it’d be great to branch out into smaller, localized companies. A “Workstreamer – San Francisco” – for example, would be gold, because many folks – particularly Sales-y folks – would like to drill down into the local economy. That’s where serious action is.
Anyway, I initially thought cruising Workstreamer would be a bit arduous, given the wealth of content and sources out there. But it wasn’t. They apparently filter it on the back end with some magic algorithm, and all the bad stuff goes away. So, to build upon the Phillip Seymour Hoffman analogy, you know all those electronic feathers of gossip fluttering through the Internet-sky, causing havoc? Don’t sweat it. Workstreamer’s on the case. Let there be no…”Doubt” (get it?) about it.