Collaboration and NewsGator

Sam Gentile comments on NewsGator and collaboration:

BTW, I have been using Greg’s awesome NewsGator for two weeks now and it just rocks! Related to my last collaboration posting, I see this as playing an important part in my collaboration tools. For better, or for worse, Outlook is the center collaboration app of my desktop and probably many other people as well. Maintaining my calendar, tasks, mail, and other plug-ins, it is becoming increasingly the most important app on my desktop. The point is that products that recognize this and integrate with Outlook like Groove will have better success on the desktop. So having Outlook be the center of my blogging makes sense to me too. It makes much more sense for me to read all my feeds in Outlook than it does Radio because that’s where the rest of the information is coming in and can be aggregated together and displayed together. For most of the last two weeks I have stopped using Radio. Reluctantly, I came back when I had to post something. The next step is to combine this with Ingo’s stuff. Then we need to find some combination in there. If I can read and post from Outlook it will be over for Radio.

I totally agree. I run Outlook all day long; I use it for email, contacts, calendar, and even random notes like the confirmation numbers for my hotels and rental cars. With NewsGator, it’s now easy for me to merge weblog posts with email; I can easily forward a post to someone, file it in a folder with some related mail messages, or anything else I want to do with it.

In an earlier post, I responded to another post from Sam and discussed collaboration in the absense of a project. There I hypothesized that the difficulty in getting people to do so is that most only have a limited amount of time to participate in informal, non-business-critical collaboration. I proposed:

Perhaps what we need is a collaboration medium which more effectively aggregates multiple sources into a single “community”.

Well, upon further reflection, one step toward that goal is to have a single tool, which can aggregate existing collaboration mediums together. If I can have a single integrated tool, it reduces the time needed to view these other sources, and I can participate more. Outlook is an excellent tool for collaboration via e-mail and mailing lists; NewsGator extends it to weblogs and other RSS-enabled sources.

And now, I don’t have to make any extra effort to collaborate in the weblog community I participate in. So I read more, learn more, and participate more. And that, I think, is the key.

As a small aside, NewsGator will eventually integrate posting capability (via Blogger API, MetaWeblog API, RestLog API, or others). At least that’s the current plan.

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