Come together

I got an email at the back-end of December from Harrison Tang asking me to try a new service that he’s involved in Spokeo, I delayed posting this as Harrison was going to respond to some questions that I had sent through, but no response . Spokeo is one of them duh, why didn’t someone think of this earlier ideas. In concept it touches on Marc Canter’s idea of a digital lifestyle aggregator.

Like predecessors before it has an impeccable back story with the founders hailing from Stanford following in the footsteps of David and Jerry or Larry and Sergey.

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Spokeo is a social aggregator. In the same way that Ziki allows you to gather all your different user-generated content together, the difference is that Spokeo allows you to do this not only for yourself, but also for your friends.With your friends content they do not have to sign up themselves, if you have ‘friend’ status with them you can pull their content into your Spokeo. The service takes a lot of the heavy lifting out of keeping up with where your friends are at.

Some of the information seems disjointed though I expect that this has something to do with the way that different feeds provide information to the service and some of the feeds that I tried to put in were not liked by the service. Its nice to see that data integration problems don’t just occur in enterprise technology applications :-) .

The service features a comments section for feeds, but that does not go through to your MySpace page or flickr account and instead seems to reside inside Spokeo, it would be nice to have a publish-to-service option (of if there is one, make it clear to find and use).

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From a more serious note, Spokeo can help social networks and services by reducing user cognitive dissonance is is a factor in they way young people launch, support and abandon profiles.

Making it easier to monitor their communities in a more efficient and effective way is likely make it easier to maintain presence across lots of services easily.

Other companies that touch on the same space are Ziki and Webjam (disclosure in the interests of transparency – one of Webjam’s founders and its soon-to-be-appointed head of marketing are ex-colleagues and friends of mine).