Microsoft has launched a new social Web application that one observer is calling the equivalent of Twitter plus Facebook on steroids.
Brier Dudley of the Seattle Times writes that Microsoft's new Vine software could be a "game-changing" social application. The service, which is in beta in Seattle, is, as Dudley describes:
""...a hyperlocal, personalized message and alert system. It's intended to be a dashboard that people can use to keep tabs of their family, friends, activities and major events in their community."The dashboard -- which appears as a widget on a PC screen -- displays a map of the user's community and the status of their contacts. It also has buttons to send alerts or reports, which can be sent and received on the PC or as text messages on a cell phone.""
He said Vine could be used by groups and organizations to alert people to schedules and changes or as a central hub to keep track of changes, local news and information, or updates from services such as Facebook. However, Microsoft is initially targeting it at helping local emergency management officials to aid in first-responder type situations, among other things.
The idea and initial technology behind Vine came out of Microsoft's response to Hurricane Katrina and some of the efforts the company, and others, put into helping to notify folks of the status of the weather and to help locate loved ones.