Presence is a really great technology because it keeps people from playing phone tag – among other things. It is an absolute productivity accelerator as it allows people to know what people are up to 24×7. But therein lies the problem. I am not sure I am 100% comfortable with everyone knowing when I am online, on the phone, in a meeting, etc.
So the solution to this problem proposed by most people in the industry is to allow different people to know differing amounts of information about us. Relatives, close coworkers, less close coworkers and customers are some of the presence groups I have seen in product demonstrations.
In a perfect world a person would also be able to subscribe to the status changes of others. In addition, people would be notified if someone is “stalking” them meaning watching their every move.
A new product called EnThinnai has been developed with the hopes of delivering presence 2.0 and solving some of the issues I point out in the preceding paragraph. In fact if you read this blog post from Aswath he describes some of what this new service can do. I think there is much room for improvement in presence information dissemination and I hope Aswath is successful with his new venture.
By the way, I don’t like the name EnThinnai but take this with a grain of salt. After all I thought Yahoo!, Amazon and Google were silly company names. Obviously these company names were lot limiting.