Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gist: 360 Biz of the Month

For a generation taught to demand privacy from the companies it transacts business with, Boomers have readily abandoned that concept and joined Gen Xers and Gen Y in a very vibrant, public information sharing performance. Transparency is touted as the answer to what ails us and everyone is encouraged to step out on the information dance floor and boogie.

With each rotation of the mirrored information globe the dance hall twitters with life and we attempt to catch the flickers and make sense of them. In one ear interesting voices chirp in 140 characters, in another social media presentations sing. Associates are LinkedIN, family and friends are Facebooked, and everyone wants to know where and when via Plancast, Foursquare or Gowalla, and we blog all about it.

We share a lot, but most of it is lost in the mayhem.

Garnering salient information about the people who are important to us, especially in business, can be as illusive and dazzling as chasing the mirrored reflections of the disco ball. Gist, a Washington State corporation founded by T. A. McCann, created software for "relationship-centric professionals" to address our need to sort and prioritize the dazzling information mayhem.

For its unique, relationship deepening, innovation, Gist is my choice for 360 Biz of the Month.

I was introduced to Gist by a fellow Twitter-mate turned real-life friend, Ed Borasky (@znmeb). Boraksy is geekedIN and has enough online influence to beta test new products. He received a first round Googlewave invite and tossed one my way before I barely knew what a wave was. Right on the heels of Googlewave Borasky gifted me with Gist.

I like being among the first to know things and seeing the big picture puzzle in a comprehensible map. Gist provides me with all that and a scorecard. My relationship with the people and businesses in my database are weighted or scored based on a proprietary algorithm. A yellow or red alert tells me when too much time has passed between interactions with my inner circle. A detail screen offers an in-depth look of who our shared contacts are, and constant information monitoring keeps me abreast of their blog posts and news mentions.

Gist integrates inside Outlook, Salesforce, and the iPhone, and allows me to focus on my contacts one at a time—in order of their importance to me.

It's most valuable asset is that it saves me time. Instead of me plowing through a sporadic stream of Twitter submissions to find the person of the hour I want to connect with, then tracking down the latest piece of news on them, or signing up for constant Google alerts, Gist allows me to review that individual’s entire online interactions and news spotlights in a date sort that includes a company profile from Dow Jones Business & Reltationship Intelligence. Gist creates a clear portrait, a complete dossier of my contact, and reduces the time needed to pull the varied pieces together to the time elapse of a log-in. The information can be browsed lightly or explored deeply by following provided links.

Gist can be used as a brand monitoring tool, too. I had no intention of using it for this, but it unearthed a dozen copyright infringements for the company that employs me.

Because I have a native bias of Washington State businesses, I took the time to reply to the emails Gist sent asking for feedback. As a result, I connected with Greg Meyer, Customer Experience Manager. He was easily coerced into doling out a generous number of Gist invites for my network. Don’t be shy. Gist is ready for more people to test its beta product. And it’s offered free to my blog readers.

Click the link for complimentary Gist invite:

Congratulations Gist and T.A. McCann for earning 360 Biz of the Month for January 2010 status. I was too enthusiastic about your product to hold this post until after the first of the year. Wishing you much success in product development.

About Gist Corporate Web-site
T.A. McCann Gist Profile
Microsoft Case Study: Gist Document published October 2009
Testimonial: Michael Michaels, recruiter at Verticalmove and organizer of Seattle Job Social YouTube 

I receive no remuneration for the companies I recommend. You can’t buy me. You can wow me.