Power Apps for 2011

Over the years I have managed to build a very powerful and connected network that constantly surprises people. Wether its knowing your son's birthday, or linking you to a friend of a friend, well managed contacts and associated social networks have an the power to amaze. In today's modern information age, it is often said that information is power and information has become personal. The latest buzz word amongst marketers is  "The Segment of One." Which refers to the utilisation of information that individually recognises the patterns, preference and interests of the individual to create suggestions or recommendations. Facebook and LinkedIn's suggested friends or people you may know functions are exactly this. But these only work within the confines of that isolated network (e.g Facebook or LinkedIn). But imagine the power of being able to cross reference the the information to build richer understanding of individuals. Some would consider this a privacy concern, but not I. I see this as a clear distinct way for you to get what you want, when you want it. Imagine a Bank that can protect that your about to call for car loan, or the shopping mall that knows you have an upcoming Hawaiian holiday.

In a small way, I already do this everyday with my contacts. Which i continually get asked "How do you have the time to be so attentive?" So here it is, my secret recipe to social networking and information flow success, in my list of power apps for 2011:

First thing you have to be a able to know someone's details, for example: name, email, number. Luckily in my line of work most people give me all these details on their business card, which leads me to Power App #1:

The award winning Business Card scanner allows me to quickly and accurately capture all the details on a new contacts business card. A absolute must for someone in Sales, Recruitment or an Entrepreneur. Once the data is collected, I hand it over to my Contact Manager Power App #2, Gmail(www.gmail.com). 

Gmail & Rainmaker:(www.gmail.com & rainmaker.cc)
The proliferation of Google services has been famous over the years, but not many people would see the power of Google's Gmail Contacts. It's positioned as a side feature to Gmail, but has powerful possibilities when linked to additional services. Many of us would have imported our Gmail contacts to Facebook, Skype or LinkedIn before, but I am talking about someone much more powerful, Power App #3 Rainmaker.

Rainmaker supercharges your Gmail or Google Apps contacts. Rainmaker turns an email address into a full contact record. Rainmaker populates your Google Contacts with names, titles, organizations, photos and other social information from a user’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn networks. Rainmaker also automates Twitter and LinkedIn connections. Rainmaker enables Google Apps users to share Google Contact records within a domain. So from a simply name & email address, you can collect and collate a great deal of information on a new contact. But once you have all these details, how do you use it effectively? Enter Power App #4 Gist 

Gist (www.gist.com) 
With your contacts database now quickly building in Gmail, supercharged by Rainmaker, you start to interact with and watch the activity of your contacts. They are in email, social networks, on your mobile phone and many other sources. Gist brings your contacts into one place to give you a full view of your network making it easy to find anyone, anytime. You get all the latest news, blog posts, and tweets for anyone in your network network delivered where you want it, when you want it, keeping you up to date with all of your contacts. Then plug in your various Social Network accounts, email accounts, etc and watch the information develop a rich insight into everyone around you. But you also like to actively monitor and respond to the activity amongst your network. Enter Power App #5, TweetDeck.

Tweetdeck (Twitter, Foursqaure, LinkedIn & Facebook) (www.tweetdeck.com)
Are you someone that always likes to be on the pulse, I know I am. Seeing activity and interaction live gives you that chance to always be one the spot ready for anything. A debate on last nights football match, industry discussions about the latest products, an industry fellow's birth of his first child, and the list goes on. Being on the pulse of happenings allows you to appear to know more than anyone else, when all you've really done is collect the information faster than everyone else. Install TweetDeck on your desktop, iPhone, iPad or Web Browser, then connect all your Social Networks to a TweetDeck account to provide seamless integration across all your touch points. I use TweetDeck on my Android Phone for maximum mobility, on my iPad for mobile content reading as a travel, my work laptop for instant connectivity throughout the day and my iMac for a massive cross network dashboard, letting me continuously be on the pulse and respond at a moments notice.

So there you have it, a comprehensive toolkit for collecting new contacts, enriching the information, collecting into networks and providing you with the information to thrive in a modern connected world. Trust me, your associate will be impressed when you wish him luck for his safari trip when he thought you weren't pay that much attention to him.

Enjoy and let me know if you manage to develop the toolkit further.