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Working together: 3 new team collaboration tools

David Strom | July 24, 2014
Flow, Glip and Slingshot try to enhance the ability of teams to converse and collaborate using a variety of tools.

Bottom line

If you don't need to schedule meetings, or already use something else such as Outlook, then Flow is a good choice. Depending on your usage, it could also be cheaper than Glip.

Glip

Like Flow, Glip (which was introduced last fall) is geared around tasks: How to start a task, who is working on a task and when to schedule a task for completion.

In addition to keeping track of your tasks, you can also track text chats with individuals or with groups of correspondents (in that, it's similar to Yammer, FMYI and Jive, among others); these chats can include Web links, images or other documents.

In fact, if you have used Facebook you already have a pretty good notion of what is involved with Glip. It is useful for small workgroups, especially those involved in collaborating on pictures or documents.

Glip
When you click on the icon over Glip's text entry box, a menu lets you type in a comment, upload a file, start a video chat session or organize an event.Click to view larger image.

At the top of each threaded conversation is a text entry box with a selector icon to the right. This is how you post content to each conversation. When you click on the icon, you bring up the main action menu of Glip, where you can type in a comment, upload a file, start a video chat session or organize an event. This is a very clean and simple mechanism and demonstrates Glip's power and utility.

Each chat session has its own thread that you can access from the main Glip menu on the left-hand side of the screen.

Images can be previewed in the stream and annotated with comments, which is helpful when you are working on a photo shoot, for example, or trying to select the right image for a brochure. The annotation or preview doesn't work for TIFF images, however.

Video chats are done through a service called Zoom. The integration with Glip is a bit clunky: When you start a video session, you are taken out of Glip. In addition, I had some problems getting my sessions to start up.

Each threaded conversation in Glip is assigned a special group email box such as 123445@strom.glip.com. Any messages that are sent to that address will show up in the conversation's stream, and any attachments the come with the email will also be posted. This is a quick and easy way to share files. It also means that your co-workers can participate in the conversation before they sign up for the service, a nice feature. Any HTML or rich formatting inside the email messages is removed, however.

 

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