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@Gist And The Social Importance Factor

http://blog.lucaslshaffer.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/gist-logo1.png”>Gist LogoHave no fear, Gist is here! On the tail end of my conversations on Social Media and it’s impact on our behavior, I end up bringing awareness to a growing, and exhaustive, amount of time our social networks require and how ‘that’ time is becoming just as valuable as the information and interactions we seek.

All of our feeds are being watered down and filter creation is becoming a mandatory necessity to wade through the spam and other “less” relevant feeds.

So, how can we factor in social importance to our networks to gain more from the aggregate?

If you are anything like me, and I think you are, then you navigate a few main browser windows with dozens of tabs containing facebook fan pages and twitter cleints like @HootSuite, blogs, news and Gmail scattered across your multiple screens. I have always gravitated towards the available ‘information nets’ that allow me to quickly, or efficiently, find the value I seek and now I have found a comprehensive tool that allows me to manage all (most?) of my feeds including Gmail inbox, contacts and calendar. This tool is http://gist.com” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>Gist.

It’s easy to get caught up in the next new “it” thing and simply treat “it” as a pivot point from bouncing in and out of networks like a mad man but Gist has made progress. This is quite possibly the first(?) application that allows an algorithmic view of the data as you would relate to your current connections and interactions. Yes, you and I get a lot of email, @mentions, comments, newsletters, etc. BUT how important are each of these categories?  Above all, how important is one users communication within your entire network as opposed to someone you hardly know?  What about new contact you want to track short term to see what type of connection you can make? Gist allows you to answer these questions.

Gist: In the beginning…

After creating an account you are zipped through all the main networks you are connected with, including facebook, twitter and RSS feeds. Quickly, Gist begins analyzing your contacts, including Gmail, in each network and calculates their importance by how many times you have have connected (via tweet, email, comment, event) with that person. This is necessary, as we will see next; manually setting individual persons “importance” level would be tragic and Gist would fail…

How important are you?

In Gist, I may not be your most important contact. If I am not, our interactions are lower than others and Gist has automatically given me a low rating like 65/100. 100 being the *most* important. If we connect more than any other person in our network then I would be closer to 100/100.   See below the “People” view.

http://blog.lucaslshaffer.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/people_view.jpg”>Gist People View

As you can see above, there is a panel to “View” and manage all of your contacts.  Here is where we make people more “important” and effectively control the flow of your main Dashboard feed.  As you can see my wife gets 100!  🙂  Other contacts are people I consider valuable and important (majority were configured through Gist).   With the Importance Gauge on each user you can dynamically change any persons value and Gist allows their posts to “bubble up” higher in your main feed which is seen below.

http://blog.lucaslshaffer.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/gist_feeds.jpg”>Gist Main Feed

Above is the payload area. After all the networks collide and personal information is sorted you begin to examine the heart of Gist.  At the Dashboard above you can do so many things to filter your networks news and links and emails and …. it is mind boggling the intuitive process of this level of organization.  Again, you can see a new Importance Gauge in the toolbar.  You can lower this value to show less important feeds or squeeze it tight to 99 to get only the MOST important connections.

You can toggle networks, people, tags, date range and sort functions.  Take that social media!  Very easy…

Last, but not least by far, is the accumulating of calendar events, feed links and attachments from previous connections.  See below…

http://blog.lucaslshaffer.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Gist_rightside.jpg”>Gist Side Panel

Here you can see my Event Calendar which is the combination of network cross-pollination and an aggregate of my events in one area.  Also, it’s very easy to track links from your favorite twitterer or sort through the important document attachments with an “important” client.  It’s a bit new to me and I haven’t done my due diligence on this aspect just yet but I see the benefits and look forward to learning more…

Whether you are the sum of just a few networks or manage a ton of contacts with heavy interaction, you can utilize Gist and be functional in just a few moments.  Drop the stress, sit back and let Gist make it relevant.  It’s free and requires only the access you already provide to many other networks.  Albeit, I am a fan of @Gist and I am continually visiting the site (and sending feedback!) and relating the interface to my current situations.  It is an odd blur going from many to one.  And the one right now, is Gist.

How can this help conquer your growing social graph?

About the Author

I am a husband to a beautiful wife named Whitney and Dad to a wonderful baby boy. Yay! :) Damien Augustus Shaffer has come into this world on March 15th 2010. In my professional life, I have accumulated over 4 years utilizing a wide range of technologies to develop software solutions for my current employer. Most of this time was spent learning methodical approaches within different environments to broaden my programming knowledge and project planning abilities. These environments include both open source and Windows based development, mainly Web. I also dabble in Social Media and it applications in today's culture and marketplace. I consider it a hobby but some may say its an obsession. ;) I enjoy it immensely.