Sunday, February 10, 2008

Integrating Pieces of the Cloud

Between recently finishing reading The Big Switch and the 2008 Horizon Report, I've been thinking a great deal about the future of computing, particularly how social tools will evolve. How do we connect disparate pieces of data--email and calendar data, bookmarks and RSS subscriptions, photos and video, presentations and papers, social networking data--and integrate them into a useful, organized body? I've just started collecting tools in this area (and have a great deal more to say on the subject) but I wanted to go ahead and start sharing a few:

My Facebook friend Sarah was featured in this New York Times article about Twine, a new online application that organizes content you select by tagging it with a consistent vocabulary. So those websites and feeds and notes you collect over time and think "oh, I'll look at that later"--those could be much easier to find. Unfortunately Twine isn't open to everyone yet, but stay tuned.

I am excited about Xobni (and would like to be part of the beta). Basically, Xobni (it's Inbox backwards) takes Outlook data and organizes it for maximum productivity--threading conversations, pulling phone numbers from emails, offering an enhanced search interface, and most importantly, creating a social network among your contacts by mapping relationships. Maybe a Linked In -type app for Outlook? I'm intrigued. Read more.

OutSync synchronizes Facebook photos with your Exchange contacts. At this point that's all it does, but it is cool to see a Facebook photo pop up on an incoming phone call or email. More importantly, it is representative of the increasing trend to bring together content from disparate sources.

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