Automattic, the company behind Wordpress.com, have released a pretty interesting new product called Prologue. Essentially a re-skinning of Wordpress (the open-source blog software), Prologue is Twitter-esque in its micro-blogging interface and functionality, but also brings to the surface the collaborative potential of such a platform by taking advantage of Wordpress features, including access controls, multiple authors, tagging and RSS feeds.
As a result, it's now possible using Prologue, to host or run your own micro-blogging platform (a la Twitter) and use it as a substitute for some of the collaborative functionality of a product like Basecamp.Automattic's Matt Mullenweg, writing on the official Wordpress.com blog, explains:
Below the posting box is a list of everyone’s latest tweet or message, with their Gravatar next to it. You can click on an author to see all their messages, or a tag to see all of the messages in a given tag (which we use for projects). There are RSS feeds for everything: the entire prologue, each author, each tag, and even combination or searches can be subscribed to in your RSS reader.
As a completely virtual company with no two people in the same place every day, we often have trouble keeping up with each other, so we’re going to be using a password-protected Prologue that only Automattic employees can access as one of our methods of communication...
As it stands, I don't think Prologue is a direct replacement for Twitter, not for the majority of users anyway. For starters, it lacks the SMS capability of Twitter. But more so because it seems designed for people who:
a) want to host their own platform, perhaps for data reliability and security reasons
b) want a private group micro-blog.
This makes Prologue much more suited to SME customers, hence the Basecamp comparison, since group messaging is already a prominent feature of Bascamp's offering.
However, where I also see Prologue having a lot of potential, especially as you can host your own, is in the education sector, used to support collaborative learning. E-learning 2.0, if you will :-)