Bottlenose 2.0 Is a 6th Sense for the Social Web

I just received surprise news that Bottlenose hit version 2.0. It’s an intelligent social dashboard, but don’t think “another social dashboard.” Here’s the breakdown: If you think in customers, use Nimble. If you think in interpersonal connections, use But if you want a social dashboard for ideas, that’s what Bottlenose is for.

I’ll give it to you straight. The improvements to the software surprised me as much as the news itself. It was a strong launch strategy. Boom. Out of nowhere. 2.0! Go try it. I don’t regret it. Bottlenose 2.0 is a vastly improved, excellent piece of work.

Bottlenose is named after a dolphin for a reason. Its core feature is called Sonar, a visual browser for your online conversations. Bottlenose arranges the topics and tags you’ve been reading and talking about in a ring, branching out from each other, and you can drill down into each one. This takes up the right half of the screen in the default view.

There’s a lot going on under the hood of Bottlenose. It’s constantly crunching on the semantics of your social streams in order to identify the terms, topics and threads of conversation.

It does all this at the browser level. The smartness is written in HTML5 and Javascript, so your computer bears the load. That load feels MUCH lighter in Bottlenose 2. For a Web app that does so much, the performance is startling to me.

Bottlenose refreshes itself with new info, and it keeps you notified in granular ways of what’s new. The column view, which is the left side of the screen by default, has also been improved. The intelligent “assistants” that suggest new filters for you are built in to that sidebar.

Photos, videos and articles can now be expanded for view within the stream. There’s more context for authors and messages included in line now, such as bios, interests and conversation threads. It also handles message authoring better now, letting you write as much as you want and including stuff over the character limit as metadata.

Bottlenose pulls in Twitter, Facebook and RSS for now, and email and more social networks are on the way. The API for third-party developers is also coming soon, and that’s where Bottlenose will really get interesting.

Bottlenose co-founder Nova Spivack envisions this as a nascent “stream OS,” a platform of meaningful data upon which powerful applications can be built. It’s free, and if you have a Klout score over 30, you can walk right in today. If not, you can sign up for an invitation.

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