Social media is supposed to be all about engagement and authenticity, but sometimes it can feel so distributed and overwhelming that conversations get lost. A new web app called Engag.io has tackled this classic problem and offers a pretty good solution that I think you'll want to check out. It's in private alpha right now but we've got an invite code at the bottom of this post. That someone is making an app like this gives me hope that there are still great ideas that can be built on top of the most basic building blocks of the social web.

Engag.io, which gets its name from being the place for your online engagement input and output, is like an inbox for all your conversations on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Foursquare and blog comments. It's an inbox with analytics. It's built by the team behind content curation company Eqentia. Eqentia is ambitious but a little too complicated; Engag.io is very simple and the value of it will be immediately obvious to many people.

In order to get started with Engagio, you have to authenticate with different services you use around the web. Fortunately, this has become super easy to do and very secure with just a few clicks. The open authentication standards that have been developed over recent years make mashups like Engagio really easy to implement and that's awesome.

You can log in with your accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Google Plus, Disqus, Hacker News and Tumblr. Then Engagio will watch for comments posted to and from you on any of those services and give you one unified inbox to track the conversations inside of.

"We believe that having a universal Conversation Inbox could become a daily time saver," says the Engagio blog. "It will save you time because you don't have to check the multiple source sites where you have placed your comments. And you can for example focus on replies first, before you get to other commenting."

That's pure gold, right there - but a few days later I'd already forgotten who said it to me, where to find it, etc. Enter Engagio Comment Search and boom! All my problems are solved.
The ability to search your comments is really nice too. It's already coming in handy for me. The other day on Twitter I was talking about the concept of the Project Triangle: Fast, good, cheap - pick two. I was saying that I've been thinking about how different companies in my life relate to that equation and author-from-the-future Todd Sattersten says to me, "@marshallk dropping one to get the other two is a faulty construct. Vary 4th element Scope to allow all 3 #agile...My review of @kmaney Trade-off http://t.co/RrejjqJQ and check out my ebook Fixed to Flexible for more use http://t.co/6nygC7OX."

That's pure gold, right there - but a few days later I'd already forgotten who said it to me, where to find it, etc. Enter Engagio Comment Search and boom! All my problems are solved.

It's a great idea and I've been returning to the site daily to try and stay engaged with people who took the time to respond to me around the web. It's mostly Twitter conversations and some Google Plus threads in my experience, but I hope that Engagio will help me be all the more...in touch with conversations in other places too.

The analytics part of the service could really use some UI work, but the idea is that Engagio will show you who you're interacting with the most. You might be surprised who some of your top responders are - and those are people you should probably engage with all the more. Or at least know, if you're going to be as social as you might want to be in the social media.

The Engagio team could use someone to sit down with them and go through some real-life commenting experiences because I think the user flow could really be improved. Site founder William Mougayar is a commenting machine, he posts comments all the time everywhere, but I suspect his experiences are different from the way other people would want to use a service like this.

Super blogger and tech investor Fred Wilson, a man who gets more and more intelligent comments in response to his online activity than probably anyone else you'll ever meet, has been a cheerleader for Engag.io. Wilson says he urged Mougayar to "make it like gmail for social conversations." Gmail is deceptively simple though and Engagio will take more work to get close to that level of usefulness. As FAKE GRIMLOCK put it, "IS MVP. UGLY OK FOR NOW." A minimum viable product it is, but one that I think many people will want to see developed further.

That this is a tool designed to make the living social graph more transparent and sticky is exciting. I absolutely love the idea. Several users have pointed out that a mobile interface would suit real user behavior especially well and I agree with that.

A small number of people can jump in and kick the tires now, using the code "rwwengage" at Engag.io.