Activity Feeds: Killer Feature for Knowledge Workers

By Danielle Arad - March 29, 2012

Things I love:

Things I hate:

  • Being CCed on emails
  • Apps without activity feeds
  • Clowns

What is an activity feed? The answer to that depends on the applications and tools you are using. Primarily, I encounter activity feeds within CloudShare, Chatter, Google Docs, and Box. The goal is to bring people and discussion to the content by allowing comments and information to happen in context.

Example 1: Chatter

Chris Riley and I frequently use Chatter to exchange short messages and information relating to customers and product management. With this tool, we can both track our comments and maintain organizational transparency by communicating in a forum where co-workers can view our discussions.

Example 2: Google Docs

One of the main reasons I like Docs is because I can leave comments on documents and content. With Microsoft Word, I was used to using the “track changes” functionality to make revisions with team members and to view their comments. With Docs, the editing process is simplified with comments and discussions taking place around content in real time.

Example 3: Box

Box has added a tagging functionality, which allows you to @tag people in comments. Those of you who use FaceBook or Twitter are familiar with this type of function. The way I’m using this feature is to say things like, “Hey @Dom are we set for the polo match this weekend?” You can also assign and complete tasks in the activity feed, which allows you to collaborate and be super productive.
Example 4: CloudShare

When you start collaborating on development environments and test servers, it is extremely important to know varied access levels and what changes have been made to each environment/server. In the CloudShare app for example, you can see an at-a-glance overview of what is happening.


What can you do?

All of these systems are available for free (like free air)! My advice? Pick your direct project team and try out one of these tools to maximize content collaboration, tracking, and efficiency.

And let me know- how do you feel about activity feeds? Are they totally awesome? Weak sauce?

Leave a comment and share your thoughts.