I got an email a few weeks ago about a new “conversational platform in the collaboration space”, and I was intrigued because I had been barraged recently by companies talking about real time conversation as the truly central core of contemporary work management applications, which became the theme of my recent weekly update (see Real time isn’t what it used to be: It’s really real time, now).
I fooled with the application just before getting on a video call with the founders, and had the odd experience of having them answer nearly every question I asked about features with “that’s in the product roadmap.” So it may be a bit early for a definitive review, so this will just serve as a first look. And what I see is very appealing.
Glip has a clean user experience — albeit very minimal at the present time — but what shows through is an easily extensible platform model, with conversation as the central modality of cowork. Posts can be of several types — notes (text), links (URLs), tasks, events, and video chats — but more importantly, the way things are structured, new types of objects could easily be added, and would appear both along the left hand margin, organized by type, and in each context along the right hand margin.
Note that the developers have demonstrated how integration with external tools might work with the current video chat capability, which is supplied by Zoom. It’s easy to imagine the capacity to create help desk tickets, crm leads, or HR applications, all of which could be integrated in place.
This is not a new approach, really. It’s found in tools like Socialcast, Hojoki, and many others. The difference may be in the grounding on real time communication.
I’m not going to delve into the minimal state of the app — uploaded files, for example, can’t be viewed or edited online, but are simply downloaded when clicked — but leave this first look here, with a promise to revisit the tool in a few months, when the next twenty or so items on their pick list are implemented.
Don’t get me wrong: Glip operational now, and if you are principally concerned with a real time chat-based cowork solution, give it a try. The tasks and events are pretty advanced, sporting a calendar style interface. But it’s a bit early for final judgment.