Present.ly – Micro-blogging for your Business

Social media has wriggled its way into almost every corner of everyday life for most people. Businesses are seeing a huge benefit in certain platforms. One highly useful way to communicate and keep everyone up-to-date is the micro-blogging platform.

Twitter, Tumblr, Friendfeed and others use this method to display updates. It is fast, fluid and searchable; all of which are essential in today’s fast pace business environment. Wouldn’t it be great if you could have your own inter-company Twitter? Present.ly gives you just that!

Two Versions

There are 2 versions, an enterprise version to download and run on your own server. This option is more geared for larger companies.

For smaller groups, there is a free hosted version. It is all web-based and can be accessed from either a computer or a mobile device such as a Blackberry or Android. This is the one we will be talking about.

Setting up an account

Setting up an account is pretty straight forward. You need to input information about your company and a administrator’s name and email address. If you would like to add other branding information and a description of some kind.

present.ly-setup

The next part of the setup is to choose how people are invited. You can have the admin send invites to people, allow access to anyone on a specific domain or via an access code.

Sending an invite

Sending an invite from the administration screen is a breeze. Click on Invite from the navigation bar near the top of the window. A sidebar will appear on the right with several spots for the invitees email addresses.

present.ly-invite

Using Present.ly

If you are familiar with Twitter, you pretty much know what you need to know for basic usage. You can use hashtags, follow people and even create groups. The groups are great for collaborating on a project. You can send an update out to the group group only.

present.ly-stream

There is an option to see topics which are sorted by hashtags. This is another great way to share updates with everyone, but make it easy to search for by your group.

Works with Twitter

Present.ly lets you use your already established Twitter account too. The admin can choose a specific hashtag to include in your tweets. As long as you include that hashtag, Present.ly will scour Twitter for it and place the tweet to your Present.ly update stream.

present.ly-twitter

RSS

Sometimes you may not need to interact, but need to keep an eye on several update streams. In situations like these, you have the choice of getting your information delivered via RSS feed. This is pretty cool if you are already a RSS reader user; it can be a normal part of your daily routine.

Conclusion

I really like this service a lot. It offers operations of all sizes a great way to get real-time information on anything going on in the organization. I think for some older companies, it may take a little bit of effort to get the employees used to using a new tool, but it can tremendously decrease the inter-company email volume .