Twitter brought along with itself a new concept of short status-blogging on the web. And now the folks at Automattic — yes, the ones that recently raised the lofty $29m and bring you the best blogging platform in the world — are taking it to a new level with the Prologue theme for WordPress. The idea essentially is to bring Twitter to WordPress (minus the SMS/IM) and in the process create a whole new use for it making the concept useful to private groups and the enterprise/corporate folk. You can see a demo of Prologue here.
At core, it seems like a very obvious, “why didn’t I think of that?” idea, which it is. And on the front end, there’s nothing too earth-shattering either: it’s a WordPress theme. However, as I set up a new WordPress install for us here at Rev2 to try out ourselves as a group post-suggestion-tracking and interacting tool, there is a certain amount of usefulness that is seeming more and more obvious to me.
So, let’s form a use case. You’re a group of 8 people working on something that’s going to change the world, and you’re always looking for new collaborative things that are going to make your team more productive and keep them together. You have Basecamp, where you post long company memos and ideas. You have e-mail which you use to get stuff done and keep in tap with each other for the important, must-document things. You have IM to keep in constant ping (but you don’t need it since your cubicle is probably next to the guy you’re talking to anyway.) And last but not the least, you have Facebook which you use to play Scabulous with your office manager at lunch breaks. Will you have a use for something like Prologue? It depends, but I can’t see why you wouldn’t not want to give it a try.
The question Prologue asks is, “Whatcha up to?” At work, you’re up to many things of course — throughout the course of the day, you’re catching up with e-mails, listening to Pink Floyd, and signing the important H.R. document. And as an enterprise tool, there lot of benefits in everyone being able to see and share this information. For example, I’d love to know when Tim, my programmer, is “almost done with latest prototype” or John, our designer, is “uploading the mockups.” And when I need to tell Julia, our newly hired H.R. manager, to mail the thank you letters, could an @Julia just fit the need in the future?
In any case, there’s one thing for sure: Prologue just validated the value, model and idea behind Twitter. Look out for upcoming developments, improvements, and Blitter, Skitter, and Flitters.