We're all familiar with the pitfalls of the proliferation of information. Massive quantities of competing programs and platforms leads to an overwhelming over-saturation of media. Battling operating systems and hardware lead to endless issues with connectivity and compatibility. The majority of the new technology being presented at DEMO Conference present themselves as a solution to those woes.
From data aggregation to seamless functionality across devices, a sophisticated software patch (to over-simplify) may be the only thing we need to eliminate all the hassles that have us pulling our hair out. This is particularly relevant in the social media landscape, where inundation of content is only going to increase until all of our heads explode simultaneously.
First off, I'm thankful that brilliant minds are working hard to capitalize on the issues I've described. Secondly, I'm always skeptical that their innovations will be useful enough to justify another download, password and endless series of mandatory updates. Strike that, reverse it.
Among the most promising problem-solvers presented here in the real of social data aggregation are Lifebeat and Zeppelin.
Lifebeat attacks one very common problem head-on: the issue of building multiple contacts across a growing number of methods-to-contact-them. With every able-fingered individual possessing an account or two in email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Spotify, SoundCloud, Flickr and more, you may think you're connected to your friends, but really, you're not. Lifebeat intuitively pulls contact information across every medium into one smart portal on your smart phone. It can give you updates, figures out your preferred method of contact for each individual and portends to have no limits on the data it can aggregate.
Zeppelin exists in a slightly more B2B space (for now), providing one simple, elegant portal of aggregated communication. With smart square gateways resembling floating widgets, you can organize any feed any way you like it and react to any of them across any medium. You can even create internal chats to discuss urgent issues (like, for example, if there's any beer left in the kegerator). The slick, clean, easy-style interface and intuitive control that has been a winner for internet heavies so far may push Zeppelin to the forefront.
Who Will Win?
There's a social element to everything now. 4Sync is a cloud storage company attempting to give Dropbox and Google Drive a run for their (infinite) moneys by providing cheaper storage and, you guessed, integrating a social element. This is exactly why the aggregation of social content is essential. Each outlet has its value and its hardcore users, and we deserve to get every bit of it. But there's only so many hours in the day. While many new companies are attempting to tackle the problem in many new ways, I have to figure there will eventually be a clear winner.
It should be one that feels like home. It should be friendly, familiar and fresh. It should be intuitive and intelligent. Most importantly, it should be adaptable. It should make room for any new social media fad that comes along. Both of these programs make sure to do that. They may become the singular resource to rule all the resources or they may be arbitrarily trumped by something with a cute picture of a kitten to lure us in. Only time will tell.