19 February 2010

Lunchtime post: I get the Gist

A few weeks back we had an OU alumna, Jackie Reau, on campus to give us an instructional seminar on social media (SM).  Few colleges have delineated a cohesive, intentional strategy for communications via SM - and we're just in the infant stages of our implementation.  But I digress...

I had the opportunity to go to dinner with a few colleagues and Jackie, and she is an absolute blast (read: is as technerdy as I am).  After a few minutes, we started talking about a few different tools we use in our job.  I shared my experience with Tungle and then she mentioned a tool she'd just discovered called Gist.  I'd never heard about it, but early the next morning I was checking it out.

Gist is like a CRM tool for managing your personal networks - think of it as Google Reader for your contacts.  It aggregates your networks from the likes of your Gmail, Outlook, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., and compiles their public information on the web into their interface.  News stories, blog posts, links, pictures, tweets: they all show up in one place.  

Now I know you might be thinking it's a bit creepy, but I find myself using it less for work and more as an extension of how I use other SM / networking tools.  

David writes a blog post?  Boom!  I see it right there on my dashboard, with a snippet and link to get to the full article.  I can send a follow-up note to David, interact with him directly on the blog or connect with him another way.  Gist makes it super easy to connect, and the information it provides is a great conversation starter if you need an excuse.

If you want to learn more about their company, they have a webinar or two posted on their blog you can check out.  They also have some great information on their website.

What tools do you use to manage your networks?  

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