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SmartTools: Getting Started with WorkStreaming
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By Rich Karpinski

So what tools can you use for "workstreaming" (read more on our take on workstreaming here)?

We built this list from our knowledge of these tools, plus two excellent recent blog posts on life/workstreaming tools:

A LifeStreaming Primer - Read/Write Web

Workstreaming with Microblogs - Anywired

Credits complete, let's begin:

Twitter.com




Twitter might be the best-known tool on this list. Sign-up for the service and you can then use the Twitter Web site or one of many Twitter clients to post short (140-word-max) updates into the Twitter-stream. You sign up to follow others' "twits", others sign up to track yours, and you have a kind of group peer-to-peer network of posts that you can dip into to keep up to date.

Twitter is a good starting point, but for more fully-featured workstreaming, we'd recommend one of the tools below that can, among many other things, consume and publish your Twitter posts. Consider, then, Twitter posts good, regular workstream *inputs*.

Tumblr




Tumblr is best described as a "micro-blogging" tool -- it's designed to let you post short snippets of a wide variety of content from within its dashboard -- including links, photos, quotes and video. You can also let it pull in content you've posted from other services.

Tumblr is an exceedingly slick, easy-to-use service, and highly-recommended as a workstreaming tool. To share your "tumbls" however, coworkers will need to subscribe to your Tumblr RSS stream.

FriendFeed




FriendFeed is a bit more about friends than business, but it's worth watching largely because it takes the concept of "friend-feeds" from Facebook and opens it up to the larger Web.

In short, according to the site, "FriendFeed aggregates all of your activity from the sites you choose using web crawling technologies similar to those used by search engines. For most sites, all you need to provide FriendFeed is your username, and the FriendFeed crawler will automatically find and broadcast all of the actions you perform on that site."

This automation truly simplifies the creating of a work or friend feed. It works best if you are already doing your Web work in a distributed fashion and want to bring it all together in a single feed.

More Life/workstreaming Options

Here are some additional services we'll be looking at more closely in the future. They are new to us, but come recommended from lifestream-watchers:

OnaSwarm
According to Read/Write Web, OnaSwarm is "very text-centric and clearly better for geeks than it is for the artists who like Tumblr." But this app was built specifically for streaming, so worth a look.

Lifestrea.ms
Currently in private beta, but supposedly brings together the best of Tumblr and FriendFeed.

Soup.IO
Reports place this as a direct Tumblr competitor. When copy-cats or close-competitors emerge, it's proof that a market has legs.

Have you used any of these services? Let us know.


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