This year at VMworld VMware are putting their 2011 acquisition of Socialcast to good use. Attendees have been sent an email asking them to sign-up to use the VMworld Socialcast platform, from here they can link up and communicate with friends, colleagues and other attendees, along with signing up to the various interest groups that have been created for the event.
Along with the Socialcast web interface there are clients available for most smart phone and tablet devices which makes using it even easier to stay in touch and see what’s happening at VMworld, especially when out and about or on the show floor.
This is the first time I have used Socialcast and I have to say it is much better than I was expecting. Logging on to the web based interface couldn’t be simpler by simply entering my email address and chosen VMworld portal password.
Once logged in you are presented with a clean, well laid out design with a centrally located “Home Stream” containing all the communications from people you are following or groups you have signed up for.
Managing these contacts and groups is handled by the menu bar down the left hand side of the screen, you can see from the screen-grab below how straight forward it is to use; simply follow people, add yourself to groups that interest you and then jump on in and join in the conversations. This is particularly useful for people wanting to sync-up with friends or colleagues or for first time attendees who want to network with others or ask questions on what to do and where to go, etc.
The Home Stream is proving to be exactly that, a “stream” of constant questions and interesting chatter amongst VMworld attendees. By increasing the level of communication amongst attendees is definitely helping create a “buzz” around the event. As you can see below, polls can also be created by your peers which is a very useful method of striking up topic conversation or gaining feedback on a topic.
In summary, I am definitely enjoying using Socialcast here at VMworld. I must admit that I was a little skeptical as to its usability and value, though the rapid adoption of it by attendees as being one of the primary ways to communicate has ensured its success. By getting people actively using and becoming familiar Socialcast, VMware will no doubt have a number of enquiries and potential sales from companies seeing it’s value as an effective communications tool in their organization.
So if you are at VMworld 2012, why not follow me (Simon Seagrave) and send me a message, I’d love to know what you think of Socialcast as a communication tool.