Bottlenose is a strange name for a web service that aims to tie together your social networks in one place. But then this new application is all about ‘smarter collective intelligence’ that it gathers from your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Reader accounts. It makes sense to name it after a dolphin – one of the most intelligent creatures we know about.
Today, most of us are logged into multiple social accounts. It is a job in itself keeping up with all our social news, interests and networks in one place. Just browsing the latest is one thing; making sense of it all is another. This is where Bottlenose steps in. It defines itself as a free discovery portal and monitoring dashboard that grabs real-time news from your connected accounts and shows what’s trending and important.
Let’s make sense of the key features of Bottlenose, and then let it make sense of all the news around us.
Bottlenose Launches In Public Beta
Bottlenose is free to use. Later, the service might introduce a feature padded professional version to go with the free service.
By bringing together all your social accounts, Bottlenose could become your own information portal. If you are the kind who sifts through information for a living (or fun) it is the common window to what’s trending across the web right now. It gives you all the tools and assets to manage the information. There are two ways you can use Bottlenose:
Without signing-in: As a guest user, you can use Bottlenose just like a search engine for real-time news.
With a sign-in: The dashboard helps you create a more personal way to manage trending topics and news.
Here’s a video which shows you an introductory tour of the smart discovery engine:
6 Ways You Can Make Use Of Bottlenose Today
Introduction over. Bottlenose is in public beta stage right now, but even from here, you can start using it to handle information in a smarter way.
A Single Place to View Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, & Google Reader From
You don’t have to hop from one social app to the other. Fire up your browser and log-into Bottlenose, as it streams in your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and RSS feeds. You can add more than one of each of these accounts if you have them. Each account also gets its separate page with multi-column view.
What’s Popular In Your Social Networks?
With a click on the ‘Now’ on your dashboard, you can quickly separate the wheat from the chaff – glance through the news items that are trending within your networks. Bottlenose also grabs the trending hashtags, and you can conveniently click on them to read the conversations around it.
View Your News In Different Ways
There are various ways to make sense of all the information overload with Bottlenose. The options are…
Stream: This is the most basic view. It might actually seem like torrent of information, but you can arrange them by time, popularity, and importance. Also, an advanced search helps to get to the needle in the haystack.
Paper: This view is perhaps the most easy-going of them all. The Paper view arranges everything by priority.
Pictures: Fancied a news item in a news stream under ‘Now’? What if you wanted to see all the pictures around it? This view gives it to you if they are available.
For Serious News Analysis – The Scanner and the Sonar
With the Scanner you can separate the associated networks and look at analytical factors like – live activity volume, real-time sentiment, trends, influencers, and content.
Sonar is a visualization tool if you want to look at the bigger picture and make sense of the relationships between trending topics. For instance, I looked at what Sonar showed, and saw that there were some contests being advertised on Facebook. Sonar is a bit unwieldy at times because of the flood of news, and I did find it difficult to drill into a sub-topic from a headline. Sonar also has serious analytical options like timescale and layers that can give you more insights into trending news.
Search Real-time Across Your Networks
With one keyword, you can search across Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and any other networks (like Instagram and YouTube) that may be associated with its parent. You can search with AND/OR Boolean operators, Bottlenose supports quite a few advanced Twitter search operators too.
You can also save a search…and it becomes a constant stream within your Bottlenose. Think of it like an always flowing Google alert.
Post Your Updates
Bottlenose calls it the “write once, post anywhere” philosophy. You can also post updates longer than 140 characters. Bottlenose says – If you author a post that is longer than 140 characters, then if you post it to Twitter, Bottlenose will automatically shorten it to 140 characters, inclusive of a bo.tt link to the full content. You can also email from within Bottlenose.
Setting up and learning to use Bottlenose could take up some time. Start with Bottlenose Tour page and then the Bottlenose Tutorial which is a Google Doc file. One of the ways I can recommend to start off, is to add just one network like Twitter and see how it all comes together. Then, gradually you can pull in the remaining accounts and get the bigger picture. Bottlenose can only get better from here. More than the real-time streams, I liked the power it gives me to search across networks and also set up powerful filters and rules that help to whittle down the not-so-relevant posts.
I have scratched the surface here by way of introducing you to Bottlenose. Log-in, set it up, and tell us if it helps you tame the long trails of your social networks. Do you think it has great potential, or is to too serious a tool for the average user?