Forums have long been a staple of online communities and online communication. The basic paradigm of a threaded conversation has long remained the same. But there is a new Aussie startup called Tangler that's trying to change all of that.
…[blurring] the lines between what you might think of as traditional instant messaging, chat, mailing lists and forums. We’re web-based and topically structured like a forum, but interaction is real-time, like instant messaging.
In other words, Tangler uses threaded conversations to anchor a discussion, but they give you ability to add a lot of rich content the thread. You can easily add videos, pictures, etc. into the thread you're discussion.
That's pretty cool, but each thread can also be done in real-time. That is, using ajaxy goodness, discussion threads also work like an archived IM chat. Using a separate application called "Notifier" you can track all of your conversations and groups in real-time.
I'm not sure I'll spend a huge amount of time here, but I've been wondering what the next step in forum evolution might be. I think Tangler is on to something.
Naturally you can easily create your own discussion groups which can be either closed or open. Closed groups are by invite only, ensuring a degree of privacy that would be handy for folks in our line of work.
You can watch a demo here, it nicely illustrates what they're doing.
via Web Worker Daily