Silentale, the new web service that backs up and archives your contacts and messages from all the communication platforms you use, has now launched into public beta as of this morning. The online application is part universal inbox, part social CRM tool and part contact management solution. But unlike some of its competitors, the best part about Silentale is that it archives your messages - all of your messages, including every single email, Twitter reply or direct message, Facebook message and more and then makes those searchable from one location.
Where's that Email? Oh, it Was a Tweet
If you've ever searched through your inbox for that email you just know you received..sometime...somewhere...and have come up dry only to find it later in your Facebook or Twitter inbox, then Silentale is an ideal solution for you.
The system is designed for those of us who consistently communicate over multiple channels and then can't remember where to find the information we need. This "information overload" problem is something many companies are trying to address whether by offering an email prioritization system, universal inbox, inbox CRM add-on or external contact management type service.
Yet no system is perfect. In fact, earlier today, Fred Wilson, venture capitalist and principal of Union Square Ventures, declared "email bankruptcy" via a post on his blog, despite his use of external contact management services like Gist and Etacts. He says that he has to perform 30 Gmail searches to find the messages from his top contacts. There are better ways to do this using just Gmail, of course, as the blog commenters pointed out, but Silentale could help him address another issue: what if the message wasn't sent as an email? Silentale can pull all the messages associated with a contact and present them in one view.
In the future, Silentale will continue to grow their search offering to allow for combination searches, the ability to save searches plus access to search history and last contacts viewed.
The Info Overload Problem
The problem with many of today's external email and contact management solutions is that they either expect you to use their inbox over the much more robust webmail or desktop-based email program you already have in place or they aggregate your messages, but don't archive them.
Silentale's closest competitor may be Gist and in many ways, it reminds us of that service. Gist retrieves contacts from your email and social networks and gives you a combined view of their activity, including related news, events, attachments and links. Silentale does much of the same.
But while Gist is more focused on being more of a business-ready social CRM tool, Silentale focuses more on being a searchable communications archive. "No one else provides your complete history of emails combined with tweets, Facebook messages etc., that you can search and access from anywhere," explains Silentale's GM, Shannon Ferguson. "We're a complement to the services you already use to communicate vs. a substitute."
Another difference between some of the competitive solutions out there and Silentale is the application ecosystem. You don't necessarily have to log in to the web service to use this system. It also functions by way of a Firefox add-on and search plugin and will soon arrive as an iPhone app, Android app and Outlook plug-in. An API for developers is also available for the creation of additional third-party applications.
Pricing and Sign Up Information
For those connecting five or fewer accounts, Silentale will remain free, although your message archive will be limited to six months. A "Pro" plan will backup 10 accounts and import 2 years of message history for $49/year and the "Pro Plus" plan supports 20 accounts and unlimited import. Enterprise plans are also available and will receive group discounts, depending on volume.
You can sign up for a free beta account here: http://silentale.com