words of Nova Spivack, we are approaching The Sharepocalypse. The real-time Web sounded like a great idea, but it has become impossible to manage. The success of social media has proven, ironically, to be its biggest challenge. The services we already use are getting busier, and whole new networks are popping up all the time. Email used to be the only problem. Today, the info streams are legion.In the
It's hard enough being a normal user, but some have millions of people tweeting at them! How are they supposed to process all those messages? In the Information Age, you'd think more data would be a good thing, but on the social Web, the opposite is true. But the aforementioned Nova Spivack - along with co-founder Dominiek ter Heide - has just unveiled Bottlenose, and it could be the tool that helps us avert The Sharepocalypse in the nick of time.
You log in to your social networks - Twitter and Facebook only at first - and Bottlenose begins crawling your stream. You can also add RSS/Atom feeds to bring in entries from websites. Other social networks are coming soon, and you'll even be able to pull in email eventually.
You can view your full real-time feed and post to it as normal. Bottlenose knows how to filter the stream by media type, letting you pull out news, videos and pictures. You can add rules, just like Gmail filters or iTunes smart playlists, and save those searches. You can go even further with intelligent "assistants," which provide suggestions based on your interests and social graph, which Bottlenose learns by itself.
Does "intelligent assistant" sound familiar? That's no coincidence; Bottlenose co-founder Nova Spivack helped start the incubator that gave birth to Siri. This is an oversimplification, but think of the way Siri uses semantic processing to understand what you're looking for and apply it to your entire social media stream. Bottlenose assistants can do that for you.
And that's just the beginning.
Navigate By Sonar
With all these semantically loaded messages pouring in all the time, our social streams can reveal connections much more subtle and interesting than manual filters can provide. On Bottlenose, that's where the Sonar feature comes in.
Every stream view on Bottlenose can be displayed as a Sonar view, which shows the relationships between the topics (or hashtags, or mentions) at which you're looking. More relevant topics are displayed larger, and the web of connections can be zoomed into and explored.
Finding What's Relevant
All these features are various ways of sorting your overloaded stream to pull out only the posts that are interesting. For example, if you get too many Twitter mentions to read every day, you can create a rule to show only mentions from people with more than 5,000 followers, or only with Klout scores above 40, and just read that stream.
Bottlenose can also provide rich information about a single user at a glance. In one screen, you can see a bio, follower stats, Klout score, and a Sonar view of all the various topics and people that person mentions.
Bit.ly link shortening, but this platform is going to be totally extensible. The API isn't open yet, but it will be.Not enough features for you? Plug in a new one. A few plug-ins are available already, such as
Who Needs Bottlenose?
Bottlenose is freemium! Hooray! That means regular folks can use it for free. The pricing is based on storage, like Dropbox's model, so the free account will be enough for most people. The consumer version does all its data processing at the edge - meaning, in your browser - so you get pretty good performance without putting too much strain on Bottlenose servers. The free version runs only when you're logged in.
For the pro folks, a low monthly subscription model is coming in Q3 of 2012. That version will run in the cloud, crunching your streams 24/7, and it will offer as much storage as needed. Further down the road, there will be an enterprise version, offering centralized management, integration with other applications, and detailed analytics and reporting.
This kind of tool will only be more important in enterprise settings in the future. Gartner reports that, by 2014, social networking will replace email in 20% of enterprises as the main way to communicate. That shift is already taking place.
Stop The Streampocalypse
The Streampocalypse is inevitable without more intelligent ways to manage it. Bottlenose has built what it calls a "StreamOS," an operating system of sorts for the way we manage the downpour of real-time messages. It's positioned in the middle, more intelligent than basic consumer dashboards like TweetDeck and HootSuite, but more manageable, extensible and affordable than hardcore enterprise software.
So, do you want in? I thought so. Bottlenose is launching in private beta, but if your Klout score is high enough, you can walk right in. If not, we've got a few invites to give out. Visit Bottlenose.com and sign up with the code readwriteweb while supplies last.