Microsoft today has unveiled a social networking software + services solution which connects you with your family and friends in the time of calamity. Vine basically takes the concept of “tweeting” on to a whole new level by adding features which micro-blogging services like twitter has been missing.
How does Microsoft Vine work? Use the dashboard to stay informed about what’s happening with the places and people you care about. Information associated with the places you have chosen will appear on your map, including articles culled from 20,000 local and national news sources as well as public safety announcements from the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Information associated with the people you care about who are in your Vine network will appear on the dashboard too. You will know when they send you an alert, post a report or update their Facebook status information.
Send and receive alerts with Microsoft Vine. Organize people into groups so it’s easy to send information to them all at once — the sports team you coach, people who live nearby, family far away, special friends, and the people you might want to reach in an emergency. Each person can define how they want to receive their alerts — through e-mail, a text message or on their computer — so your message is sent to the right people in the right way, quickly. You can send those from your computer or mobile phone to people who have affiliated with you.
Post reports. You decide what information is important to share and the people you want to share it with. Then the information is sent directly to their personal dashboard. You can check in safe and well to let your family know you are okay. You can also use reports to let your trusted neighbors know you are headed out on vacation and how to reach you if anything comes up, keep each other informed of situations that matter, and report general information such as a team practice schedule and location for the week.
Vine comes with its own glossy-looking WPF client for Windows only. I believe that Microsoft will provide an open API for Vine to enable third party developers to create Vine-based clients for other platforms as well.
Microsoft Vine is currently in invite-only beta program and will be available more broadly next month.