Today's Post

Today’s Meet is quietly launched.

What is Today’s Meet? Why do we need another micro-messaging service? Why does Today’s Meet look suspiciously like Drop.io?

All questions I asked myself while building Today’s Meet, so I figure someone else might want to know, too.

What is Today’s Meet?

More and more, Twitter is being used at conferences of the social media savvy. (So much that there’s already backlash.) People tweet from the conference floor, their followers can get an overview of the conference experience. Sometimes people even tweet about the presentation or panel their watching.

It’s become so common, in fact, that people have *asked *for questions during the presentation to be tweeted to them, via DM, @-replies, or #hashtags.

But Twitter isn’t always appropriate for this, for a few reasons. Some people don’t want to annoy their followers with messages that don’t have their context. Most likely, everyone in the room is not following everyone else, so only the speaker will see everything. And in a lot of situations, your audience isn’t on Twitter.

Today’s Meet exists to address some of that. Your audience doesn’t need to have an account or fancy software: they just need to go to a URL you create ahead of time. (In fact, you don’t even need an account. Just go to http://todaysmeet.com/YOURROOMNAME and you can set it up.) Messages go to everyone in the room—and no one else, it’s purely opt-in.

The room, the transcript, is available until it’s not. You set an expiration date when you create the room.

And there’s a “read-only” version for presenters, projectors, or anyone else who just wants to hear everyone else.

The two features I want to address first are private rooms—rooms where you need a password to get in—and mobile support. (The Ajax-driven interface breaks on my Blackberry, very embarassing.)

So, why do we need another micro-messaging service?

Twitter has shortcomings. There are the ones I just mentioned and a few others, like trying to have a 3-way conversation where 40% of each tweet is taken up by “@joetheplumber @sarahcuda”.

In most situations, Twitter is great. In some, it’s not.

Today’s Meet also has a very low start-up cost. No accounts, no signing up, no profile to fill in, no private information to give away. For non-Twitter audiences, Today’s Meet can be a great introduction to social messaging and maybe even a stepping stone to Twitter and more.

Why does Today’s Meet look so much like Drop.io?

Frankly, I like how Drop.io looks. The UI is very clean and clear and focused on what you’re there to do.

My goal for Today’s Meet was to get a clean, clear, and focused UI. So I borrowed liberally from Drop.io. I hope they consider it a form of flattery.

I’m sure Today’s Meet will evolve and find its own path in the future. For the present, it was nice to lay out a simple design and then focus on the underlying application.

Check it out.

Head back to Today’s Meet and give it a shot.

Try talking to your audience, or having a quick conversation with a few people, or anything else. If you think of more uses, leave a comment!

And check back here for updates about the service, like new features or the API (which I want to open soon).