For the Salesforce community spring has already sprung.  We are right now in the midst of the Spring 12 release cycle.  If you want more details on the three Salesforce releases per year (Winter, Spring, and Summer), check out our All Aboard the Salesforce Release Train blog from last year.  It has some really great information on the unique approach Salesforce takes in keeping everyone on the most current release.
With Spring 12 we get a new Cloud … the Collaboration Cloud.  The Collaboration Cloud is powered by Salesforce Chatter.  With Chatter, a new world of real-time enterprise collaboration is created where you can stay on top of what’s happening in your association.  Collaborating at work is now as easy as Facebook!   ​

The Spring 12 Collaboration Cloud also delivers a variety of new features and enhancements for Chatter.

  • Chatter Now – Basically this is an instant message like feature for the association using Chatter.  It allows people in the association to chat securely with people that they follow in Chatter without using external chat products.  This feature is in a pilot program, so Salesforce would need to be contacted to enable the feature.
  • Chatter Bookmarks – With this release, you can now bookmark individual posts in your Chatter feed.  The new feature provides a left sidebar navigation area to see your saved posts as well as you receive email notifications when someone comments on a post you have bookmarked.
  • Sharing Chatter Posts – With this release, you can also share public Chatter posts that contain text or a link to your profile or to a group directly from the Chatter feed.
  • Chatter File Enhancements – Chatter file attachments have been around for a while, but now you can attach a file to a comment in Chatter.  Now more than ever, it’s easy to keep collaboration going by attaching files to specific comments.
  • Chatter Search Enhancements – With this release, global search keeps track of which objects you use and how often you use them.  You can also pin important objects to the top of your search results.
  • Chatter Recommendation Enhancements – There are a variety of recommendation enhancements from file, people, and the user interface.
  • Chatter for Android Tablets – Now you can collaborate in Chatter from your Android tablet.
  • Chatter REST API Enhancements – Chatter API version 24.0 improvements include new and change resources, response bodies, and request bodies.
  • And Other Chatter Enhancements – There are a variety of other chatter enhancements.  These maybe small or subtle but they can improve your collaboration and Chatter experience.
    • Likes on Comments Counted in Likes Received Number
    • Chatter Influence on Profiles
    • Improved Mentions
    • Delete Chatter Message via the SOAP API
    • Send Chatter Invitations to 200 Domains
    • Chatter Invitations Link Now Available on Chatter Settings Page
    • Additional YouTube Video Support
    • Improved Chatter Email Settings Page
    • List View Favorites
    • New Visualforce Components for Chatter Feed

Chatter is an amazing game changing feature that is not found in any other AMS.  All of these new features and enhancements just make it even more powerful and useful for an association.