Tech Devil: Social Productivity

Last week I wrote a post on my personal blog about the future of “social” and how it’s changing from the “sharing” that we currently do to the “doing” that new apps are growing in popularity.  I found out about a company called 6Wunderkinder based in Berlin, Germany, that has two products. One is Wunderlist which is a simple task manager app for desktops, browsers, and mobile devices. The other is Wunderkit.

Wunderkit allows you to create “workspaces” for various projects and create task lists and notes within each workspace. The reason I got excited was that you can collaborate on a workspace like you do in Google Docs. Companies and organizations can create public workspaces that people can follow and receive updates on projects they’re interested in. You can even comment on and like updates just like you would on Facebook.  I‘ve started using it for a few of my classes and it works great from an individual standpoint.  I’m still looking for a way to use it with other people to see if it’s worth my praise.

The other two products that I‘ve found that could be compared in some sense is Orchestra and Quora. Orchestra is a CrunchFund startup whose product is a task manager but with the same social integration and collaboration that Wunderkit has. It also has a chat system and a way to record tasks with notes via your phone’s talk-to-text feature. It has a browser app that syncs with the mobile app so you can manage your list from anywhere.

Quora is a little more popular than the previous products mentioned and it’s less about getting stuff done and more about creating a useful database of information.  I‘d say it’s a decent competitor to Wikipedia, though it will be a while before it could replace it. It’s a place to ask and answer questions on any topic. You can sign in with other social media profiles and follow topics that you find interesting.

Now that I‘ve had a week to mull over what I think might happen, I‘ve gone from thinking that social productivity apps and software will replace the current sharing, social networks.  I think we’re going to see a significant shift from sharing to doing which will get people more involved in the real world, while still keeping them connected. This will also force sites like Facebook to adapt to the new favorability of productivity. They won’t go from 800 million users to nothing in a few years but I think people want to be where their friends are. If that means they decide to migrate to a different site, Facebook will have to create a better platform that keeps its sharing aspect, while balancing it out with a way for people to be productive.

Schools will be able to take advantage of this and figure out ways to make classrooms more suitable for the 21st century rather than 1960. This will be a game changer in a sense because instead of having teachers try to control something that they can’t by banning Facebook or even depriving people of access to the Internet while in the classroom, students will be able to use the tools on a regular basis to expand their knowledge and make education something we’re happy to take part in.

Social productivity is something we should all seriously consider because its part of the solution to the problems current social media has been causing in our society. It’s always good to have a balance between being connected and spending time with people we love in reality and not just through a screen. So take a look at some of these apps, give them a try, and hopefully they turn out to be the thing we were waiting for.

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