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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Managing Contacts Across your Social Graph - Gets it Right

It seems that everyday a new social platform is coming out and with it comes the connections, followers and the unwieldy task of managing this across all of different ways we now have to communicate.

The other day Bryan Eisenberg suggested I try out a new tool call Gist and all I can say is that this is a game changer (Thanks Bryan!).  Gist goes where all of the other contact social networks/tools have failed and that is taking the information you have gathered and pulling it all together to build a profile (or dossier as they call it) on each of your connections.  From this the Gist platform becomes a powerful contact management tool providing real-time information from across the Internet (blogs, updates, news, twitter, status updates, etc) as well as promoting the contacts that are most important delivering a dashboard on your social graph in real time.

Gist currently has integrations with Outlook, Gmail, Google Contacts, Linkedin, Salesforce, Facebook and Twitter plus the ability to import through CSV, vCard as well as IMAP integration.   They have an iPhone app and just announced today an Outlook plugin.

They have only been around since Sept and I am very excited to see where they take this, it still has some improvements / tweaking required but I have seen change over the couple of weeks I have been using it.  Plus they really care about the end user, I've had multiple conversations with Greg Meyer, their Customer Experience manager, where he was soliciting feedback on what they need to focus on next.

I would strongly suggest that everyone try Gist out - it only took me about 10 mins to start and it was well worth it.

Google's Play for Control of the Business App Market - Launches Google Apps Marketplace

We all know of Apple's success in selling apps, but many don't know of Google's focus on taking control of the application market for business.  Google Apps has been around for a while and, according to Google, now has over 25 million users in over 2 million business and universities as well as 1000 plus resellers.  This amounts to a pretty attractive and captive base, one that if offered additional services that integrates with ease (remember they were already sold on the conversion to Google Apps) could be commoditized at an attractive return for both Google and the 3rd parties.

So last night Google announced the launch of the Google Apps Marketplace, it seems to be a very solid launch with very deep integration into the Apps platform - single sign-on, API and placement in the overall Google App navigation.  The App Marketplace already has over 50 partners who will be given access to selling in the marketplace for the low fee of a $100 sign-up and 20% rev share.  The important point here is these are not $.99 apps, but enterprise level agreements with some having recurring fees based on the number of users.  The benefit will be with the easy integration / role-out across the organization that already has Google Apps but may also become a factor to switch to it when making those costly upgrade decisions in the larger enterprises.

It will be very interesting to see how this plays out and how it postions Google Apps at the forefront of future of business software / online services.

Here are a few videos with some additional details:

Overview of Google Apps Marketplace

The announcement from Google Campfire One: