Sunday, December 6, 2009

Web 2.0 Tools to Manage the Info Froth

Regardless of the meetings, conference calls and industry events on my schedule for the day, I block out 30 minutes in the morning and then late afternoon for my daily information in-take.

I troll a myriad of social networks and online communities for updates from my connections. I dial-up my RSS reader to see what’s new with the 40+ blogs I monitor. And I scan the nearly 100 e-newsletters I receive to tune in to the reporting from trade journals, business press and niche vertical media.

With a dozen clients occupying nearly ever sector of the technology and telecommunications market, it’s imperative that I track what’s timely and relevant to ensure Strategic Communications Group (Strategic) is proactive in its representation. Admittedly, the accelerating froth of news, trends and opinion can be all consuming.

This is why I get jazzed when I come across a Web 2.0 tool that has the potential to help me more quickly and efficiently digest, organize and share this ongoing flow of information.

Here are four relatively new services with potential. An introductory scan of their Web site got me intrigued enough to test each out.

1. Spokeo: a Web-based service that scours nearly 50 social networks to find information about your online contacts and connections. It’s a good resource for due diligence on customers and prospects, as well as gathering competitive intelligence.

2. Gist: free while still in its beta phase, this service allows a user to create a custom intelligence report on a business contact, prospect, customer or partner. Gist sorts through information about a contact from multiple sources – such as Outlook Email, Twitter, Facebook, etc. – and then organizes everything into a single, Web-based document.

3. Favit: a Web-based service that allows a user to create streams of information from multiple social networks and online communities. It’s a good way to save time when it comes to sorting and reviewing updates from contacts in social networks.

4. Toobla: an easy way to organize content from across the Web (i.e. videos, sites, presentations, etc.) in a series of visual folders that can then be shared with online contacts.

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