One of the interesting features of Twitter is the ability to “follow” anyone and then listen to their tweets. Effectively the person you are following becomes the “filter” for you for certain types of content and information.  You receive immediate updates on what’s going on.

While working with a number of teachers and tutors, we noticed that many of them create their “binders” (a set of favorite questions, tests, and other materials such as reading passages) in real life, which they often share with others by photocopying. The binders contain a collection of their best material with lots of thought put in. We noticed a similar usage pattern in Socrato where many teachers collect their special questions and content, aligned with particular topic areas, or to help students with certain needs.

So taking a cue from Twitter, we just released features that allow a user (teacher or tutor) to follow other users (teachers and tutors). Whenever the “followed” user shares public material they have created, the “follower” will be notified. This way a teacher can assemble a content set, and all of their followers can reuse and collaborate on that material. Each individual user has privacy controls on how much of their profile and content is visible to other users.

Last night we released the “follow” feature in Socrato. Let us know what you think.