Buzztale: An Enterprise Story-Sharing Platform
Innovative corporate communications are difficult things to pull off well. If the company’s large enough, it probably comes saddled with a restrictive Microsoft suite of applications, including SharePoint, Outlook, and perhaps Yammer. Communicating to your employees is often done in the form of an email template with mostly text and a few pictures that’s brittle enough to restrict modification based on the type of event. Yammer freed things up enough to have a conversation, but you’re still locked into the Yammer style that looks like an ugly version of Twitter. Not fun at all.
I’ve been experimenting with Buzztale over the past few days as an alternative to the typical approach. Buzztale brands themselves as a tool for creating “Enterprise Story Networks” - think a collaborative version of Storify. Though the platform has a really slick desktop interface, it’s definitely geared toward mobile. Users can only create stories and add new items through the Buzztale mobile apps.
Buzztale has thought through their audience well. Each story comes pre-built with an embeddable widget like this one below:
- In the first frame, I easily joined Kate Jackson’s story to view her content and could have added my own.
- In the second, I took a screenshot of their well-designed mobile interface.
- I’ve added a nice picture here with a caption from my phone.
- In case you don’t want to post any visuals, you can just add straight up notes. There’s no character limit here, so you can type epistles if you like.
- You can also search for tweets, and add them to your stream. Buzztale actually requires that you search for a particular hashtag, assuming that you’d be creating this story to align with a topic or event.
- And, finally, another picture.
Buzztale looks and feels fantastic, and I’d use it as event coverage without a second’s thought. However, it’s got a few things to add before I’d consider rolling it out as a major corporate communications platform.
- Stories are public, and there’s no way to change that. If I have a story of a private event, it’s going to be out there for the world.
- I need more Twitter functionality - specifically, I’d like to add tweets from a particular account or @-replies to a user.
- I’d like to be able to add certain content from the desktop. The mobile version is perfect, but I also want to be able to upload pictures and type notes as well.
- Recap and “about this page” text boxes to introduce the story would be excellent.
- Customizable URLs. The story from the widget above can be found at http://www.buzztale.com/b969e0/24d471.
This team has a lot of potential, though, and I’m sure many of my requests are in their pipeline. They just signed their first big pilot customer in Tele2, a European telecommunications provider, and have the backing of Europe’s Seedcamp and Startup Sauna. I’m excited to see where they go, and will look forward to my first event to put them to a live test.