On the IBM Community Tools Bandwagon

There have been a few posts by Rocky and the Captain about the IBM Community Tools. I decided to take the plunge and I installed them yesterday. So far, so cool. For those of you that don’t read the aforementioned blogs, I’ll try to explain the tools.

Basically the IBM Community Tools are plugins based on a specialized Sametime client. Once you get your username and password, you can sign in to become part of various communities. These range from IBM AlphaWorks to the Lotus Community. You choose what communities you want to be a part of, and that’s when you can start to use the various tools.

FreeJam is basically on the fly group chats, PollCast is on the fly poll questions, SkillTap sends instant questions to your community, TeamRing does on-the-fly Powerpoint presentations, and w3Alert sends out instant alerts (with URL’s in tow) to the community. Two things you notice are that most of these things are ON THE FLY. Secondly, they all deal with your community.

For example, to start a FreeJam chat, you initiate it with the subject. The client sends alerts to everyone in the community, and then anyone that wants to join the chat can. Once the last person leaves the chat, the room disappears. Same way with PollCast. You could ask a poll question, and then everyone in the community can respond right then if they want to. The results show up in real time on the screen.

It’s actually a pretty cool concept. Hopefully there won’t be too much spamming going on, because that’s what could ruin this experiment REALLY easily.

The other cool thing about this that was buried in a thread over at Rock’s was that your username and password give you access to a public Sametime server. You can access it with the ICT client, Sametime Connect, or if you want to get really fancy like me, you can use the Sametime plugin for TrillianPro. Just connect to messaging.ngi.ibm.com with your username and password and you are all set.

I’ll try to be on quite a bit. Feel free to add me to your partner lists. My handle is what else? Greyhawk68