Here’s another cat on the loose, leaving an empty bag behind.
For several months now, my friend Stuart Halloway has been talking to me about his new job, and the project he’s been working on. I noticed a couple of weeks ago that the website is finally showing some details—the company is out of stealth mode, and I can finally start talking about it.
Stuart’s job is with a company called Near-Time, and the product is called Flow. It is, quite frankly, the collaboration tool I’ve wanted for a long time. I saw an early version in October, and even in a rough state it was breathtaking. Flow includes the best of Wikis, blogs, browsers, bookmark managers, outliners, and email clients, all in one program. Flow gains a lot of power from having all of those things integrated into one interface (and it doesn’t hurt that it’s a good interface).
Although Flow is useful for individuals, it’s designed for collaboration. It seems to me to be an ideal tool for collaborative research, planning, and development work of various kinds, especially (but not only) if you can’t be face-to-face. Best of all, Flow is a collaboration tool that doesn’t require constant connectivity. The assumption of intermittent connectivity is baked into Flow and the protocols it uses for information sharing.
Near-Time is preparing for an early-access release of Flow in the coming weeks. If you and some others in your group use Macs, I urge you to register and try it out. I think you’ll be impressed.