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Joint Contact: First Business Tool To Integrate Twitter?

Enterprise 2.0 is a rapidly growing trend that takes the concepts and tools of social media (social networking, RSS, wikis, blogs, etc.) and re-purposes them for business use, wrapping them up into applications that make the tools at work seem more like the tools we use in our day-to-day lives. While these enterprise 2.0 apps give us that web 2.0 feel, it’s rarer to see actual Web 2.0 services like Facebook or Twitter used by businesses. And although we’ve seen many people promoting the business use of Twitter, we had not yet heard about anyone actually going so far as to integrate Twitter into a non-consumer focused application. However, that’s just what Joint Contact has done. Their PM tool now shows how tweeting can actually be a productive activity.

Twitter For Work?

Many people have made cases for Twitter as a tool for business. Here at ReadWriteWeb for example, we told you how Twitter can be used for journalism. We’ve posted about how companies were using Twitter for customer service and how PR professionals could use it for pitching purposes. The Twitter Fan Wiki is also keeping track of other Twitter usage cases that go beyond simply having conversations.

Despite this growing perception that Twitter can be actually be useful, we haven’t seen business applications that make Twitter an essential part of their program…until now.

Project Management Via Twitter

The online project management system Joint Contact has just been updated to allow its members to Twitter their project statuses and other project-related messages – a task normally relegated to email. But email isn’t always the right tool for the job – Twittering is faster, simpler, and thanks the the 140-character limit, the messages stay short and to the point. Twitter is also available on a number of devices from computers to PDAs, but unlike email, Twitter also works over SMS, so even those team members without a data plan on their phone can receive Twitter messages about the project when they’re away from their computer.

In the Joint Contact online software, project members can post entries from discussion groups directly into Twitter – the subject line of a discussion group doubles as a tweet. Members can also update their work status via Twitter, too.

Twitter in Joint Contact

As far as the actual software itself, Joint Contact looks pretty standard. It allows you to manage tasks, documents, images, contact lists, online discussions, and team announcements in a way that’s similar to how Basecamp works.

Twitter Replaces Email

What’s most interesting about this recent update to Joint Contact is that it’s a great example of how email can be replaced by social media tools. We know that the younger generation communicates via social media – most often on social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook – often only using email to communicate with the “old people.” We also discussed whether or not email was in danger not too long ago, and received a slew of comments debating this hot topic.

Whether or not you believe that email is danger, you have to admit, email is broken – our inboxes are so overloaded that a non-profit organization IORG has been recently been formed to research solutions to this problem. Well, here’s one idea – replace email with other services (like Twitter) when possible to lighten the load on the inbox. For this innovative concept alone, we wish Joint Contact success.

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