What's next in Refinder

A couple of days ago, Franz asked his crystal ball (which, I sometimes suspect, rather looks like this) for predications about how social business will evolve in 2012. I'd like to follow up on that with a short outlook on what the Refinder development team is currently working on, and what we plan to release in the next few months to you, beloved customer.

  • Franz first cites that "2012 will be the year employees start hating social software", and that lots of magic will be implemented in order to filter and manage the ever-increasing amount of information. Our development plan is exactly in line with that. We will add more magic to Refinder that will make it even easier for you, the user, to deal with the daily information flow: things will be automatically enriched with, and connected to, information found in a variety of background knowledge sources. This enrichment will give our recommendation engine more hints about what a certain piece of information is all about, and will give it the power to provide more sophisticated search and filtering mechanisms. We will make use of data sources like Wikipedia or Geonames for that purpose, but we will also offer the option to connect enterprise-specific data sources to Refinder.
  • Another important aspect is the increasing importance of Gamification in social software, as well as the role of community managers within social businesses (more about that). Refinder will support these needs by the introduction of expressive and sophisticated, but still easy-to-use collaboration features. We'll add features to foster direct communication between team members (something along the lines, "hey, I need your feedback on this document, can you take a look on it?"), to make social objects more actionable by assigning states and responsibilities to them, and to easily review what work has been done, and what tasks were accomplished.
  • A third prediction that I'd like to emphasize is, "social business will change the way we do everything". While Refinder is not meant to be a tool for every purpose, it still aims to support you regardless of which tool or application you are using to get your work done. Refinder is made to be integrated into applications and services of all kinds. It's designed to connect the information from these different silos to form a bigger picture — like an overview on a project or task. Refinder is the place where your things come together. Therefore, we will work hard on new connectors and plug-ins for your applications and services.

We are very looking forward to these exciting developments, and we're confident they will make Refinder even more attractive and interesting for you to use. As always, we'd like to ask you for feedback — let us know what you think and what you need! Ah, and keep in touch to stay informed when these exciting things will go live, and be amongst the first to get productive with them.