Posting to Tumblr, People Search, LinkedIn, Social Identities & More

We quietly released 7 new features on December 22nd, just before Christmas. They all directly contribute to Engagio’s two key premises (and promises): a) helping you manage multi-site conversations, b) bringing you visibility about the potential relationships from whom you’ve interacted with.

Commenting Inbox Productivity 

1) Mark read/unread
Similar to GMail’s, you can mark individual, multiple or all messages as read or unread.

2) Publish to Tumblr as a new post
Previously, when you shared a comment on Tumblr, it was as a Quote. Now, you can also publish any comment as a new Post on Tumblr. This allows you to post your best comments that way or edit someone else’s comment and make it the basis for your post.

3) Connect to LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the 8th network you can connect to. Once you do, we start pulling LinkedIn replies to you from what you share and from your Group conversations, but you can’t reply (yet) from the Engagio Inbox.

4) International Languages
We implemented UTF8 encoding to support the various international language characters. We know that some users from Turkey and Russia have asked for it, and others probably were waiting for it. 

Visibility and Intelligence about your Contacts 

5) Search People
Gradually, more and more users will be on Engagio. When you search for a person, if the user is on Engagio, you’ll see their integrated networks on one line. If they aren’t on Engagio yet, you’ll see the various networks they are on. That’s a very convenient way to do research on someone you’ve just met without having to look for their social identity profiles separately.

6) Public Profiles
Fred Wilson’s recent blog post on Lightweight Identity focused on the fact that our public identities are very telling about us. This is our first attempt to tie all the social identities of a user on a single page that others can browse and link to. Great for learning about new people that are interacting with you.

7) Dashboard
Think of it as an Analytics dashboard for your Engagement activity. On one page, you’ll see a) all your contacts, b) engagement stats from your top networks, c) your top sites, d) top sites from your top contacts, e) a roll of your latest comments, f) latest public comments from your top contacts. 

Tying everything together and going forward
Yes, there’s a method behind our madness. Here’s the flow and how the various pieces get connected: from a single comment to/from a user, you’ll see that user in your Engagement folder. If you hover over that user and click on their name, you’ll be sent directly to their profile where you can learn about them. And, once you’re reviewing their profile, we’ll reveal key aspects of the 1:1 relationship you have with them. 

Overall, these features contribute to making Engagio a unique product that combines the utility of email with the usefulness of online relationship management.

Think of the following 4 facts: 1) the web removed distance barriers, 2) social media has made us more open about ourselves, 3) online commenting flattened the conversation barriers, and 4) starting business relationships online is no longer an exception, rather becoming a common thing. Engagio helps you exploit and manage the converged effects of these 4 trends. 

And we have even more exciting ideas in store for 2012.

Best Holiday and New Year wishes to our users, supporters, followers and those still on the waiting list.  

Engagio’s First Premise: The Universal Commenting Inbox

Engagio’s first premise is about its utility factor- the utility of seeing all of your commenting activity in one place.

As engaged users, we all comment in various places. But to keep up, we need to either re-visit these sites, or receive multiple email notifications when a reply has been posted. So, why not borrow the Gmail analogy and have a tool that collects all of your comments as messages in an Inbox format? Then, when you open the message, you will see the conversation threads inside. And you can reply from there. That’s where Engagio starts, but not where it ends.

Connecting your Networks and Commenting Systems
We started with 7 social networks/commenting systems: DisqusFacebook Comments and Wall, Google+TwitterFoursquare checkins, Tumblr (write only), and Hacker News (read only). Just like email, there’s an Inbox folder, and there’s a Sent folder. Your comments/replies are collected in the Sent folder. And when someone responds to one of your comments or replies, the message line turns bold (Unread), until you read it or open it. 

We believe that having a universal Conversation Inbox could become a daily time saver.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.

You don’t have to use the Engagio Inbox exclusively. You can also comment normally on the native sites, or via email, and we will continue to record your commenting activity, therefore keeping your Inbox and Sent folder up to date. Suddenly, you’ll be accumulating all these conversation in one place, giving you a new type of visibility into your content across the various commenting communities. 

How about “Searching your comments”?

Search your comments
Yes, you can search your comments and content around your comments in the conversation threads that you participate in by running a simple text search. The novelty we have introduced is in displaying the results: we show you the top users that are participating in the comment threads that match your search queries. Great way to discover where the smart conversations are, and the smart people behind them!

Share your comments
Social sharing is part of this experience, and we have taken it a step further. Not only can you re-share your comments, but also any comment that appears in the threads that you’re participating in. This makes it easy to quote powerful comments from your friends and users you interact with during the online conversations. You can share into up to 3 networks simultaneously, in one click: Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. 

How does this compare to existing commenting solutions? Our vision is very user-centric whereas other commenting systems are primarily site owner-centric, although some of them such as Disqus offer some user-centric features via a Dashboard. We think we have taken commenting user-centricity further than anyone else. And all commenting systems whether third-party or native ones are our partners. We depend on them, but we add value for the end-user on top of their offerings. 

In the next post, I will cover the second most powerful feature of Engagio: allowing you to track and manage the people you interact with during your commenting.

Follow us on Twitter at @engagio.