Having built up a fairly apoplectic level of irritation with social network Plaxo despite having stuck with LinkedIn, I was initially deflated to be targeted with yet more news of a so-called ‘business social network’ this time in the shape of XING.
Following the recent trend to creatively misspell its domain name, XING is on the newswires this afternoon due to the fact that team collaboration and project management application Huddle.net has made its Huddle Workspaces product one of the first applications to be available as a part of XING’s new Partner Ecosystem launch.
Scoring increasingly positive headlines of late (they were recently ranked as one of the 50 global technology start-ups to watch by BusinessWeek), Huddle.net says that it developed the Huddle Workspaces online collaboration offering specifically for the XING OpenSocial platform launch. XING claims to have more than 7.5 million users worldwide and is available in 16 languages – and Huddle itself is currently available in English, German, French and Italian, with more languages to follow.
Having been in and out of more ftp sites that I care to mention, I have been using a product called Dropbox over the last few months so have something of a vested in interest this kind of file sharing technology. Dropbox is OK, I’ve experienced a few problems with it and am trying to pin down whether these are due to Word version discrepancies or caused by Dropbox itself.
With this subject in mind, Huddle says that Workspaces offers XING members secure workspaces to privately share information and work together with 1Gb of free space where they can store, collaborate on documents and create private discussions. In all, it is a more comprehensive product for sure.
Although I’m using Skype and Dropbox for free quite nicely in unison. I could get all this in one place with Huddle. Tasks, whiteboards, phone and web conferencing are all available, I’m told, if I were to take the step and synchronise with a full Huddle.net account.
As with many of these new online experiences, it does sometimes come down to effort. That said, I think it only takes one bad user experience to move away from one client or online tool and reach forward for a better option. As soon as I have time, I will leave Tweetdeck for Tweetie due to the fact that my ‘Shorten URL’ function has not worked since the last upgrade.
For Huddle of course, rolling out via XING demonstrates their success with the ‘distribution through social networks’ strategy of which LinkedIn was the company’s first launch. They were the only UK company to be invited into the LinkedIn launch, so XING now gives them a foothold in more countries
So all power to them I guess, although not everyone is using this type of technology. As much as I initially resisted it - due to initial scepticism and the fact that Plaxo’s birthday reminders drive me insane – I can see the benefits of online collaboration much more clearly now. Are you of the same opinion?