When Facebook and Twitter bring noise, EverySignal offers clarity

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EverySignal is a new way to find the handful of important announcements from your social networks – all your social networks — in just one daily email digest.

The digest brings clarity, organization, and best of all, brevity to an information-gathering process that could take hours, should you choose to forage around the web for important events in the lives of friends, family, and colleagues. At a glance, you can see who moved to a new city, who’s sick, who had a baby — and you can respond with congratulations, encouragement, or advice of your own.

Yes, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter all offer their own homepages, discovery tabs, and algorithms to sift out the noise and deliver the signal, but EverySignal’s new product brings a few distinct advantages, founder Derek Merrill said in a phone chat with VentureBeat yesterday.

“We aggregate across all of the networks,” he said. “We have access to the full breadth of a person’s networks.”

In addition to bringing more data into one place, he said, EverySignal also makes better use of that data without requiring users to take additional steps.

“Facebook, they’re gonna get better at it, but they’re kind of using Life Events as tags … but we know users don’t do that. They have to change their behavior. Most people just want to write what they want to write, and then technology should categorize it for them.”

Merrill said he got into the idea of social data sifting in the most normal way possible. Like most human beings (read: unlike most Silicon Valley wannapreneurs), he doesn’t live and breathe Facebook, so he has a more natural perspective on what’s wrong and frustrating about social media.

“I never lived inside Facebook,” he told us. “Because of that, I really was missing most of the things happening, or if I found out, I was the last person to know.” This applied to life events such as marriages or pregnancies as well as professional events such as promotions or lateral company moves.

“From my point of view, this is bringing me back into [social media] in a natural way. I don’t really care about a picture of someone’s burrito, but I do care when someone starts a business, or when you go on an exotic vacation, or when your dad is hospitalized.”

And for normal people who don’t exist with one eye on a smartphone around the clock, email is still a fine way to get that information across. In early testing, Merrill said, users opened around 70 percent of daily digest emails.

And the EverySignal team strove to find a familiar, safe way to display data for users — something that would convey all the information needed without overwhelming.

“It’s a tough problem,” Merrill said. “If you think about this from an engineering perspective, every user’s interface is different. That has been an enormous challenge. … We decided, let’s just play off normal user familiarity. We’re trying our best to make things feel comfortable. We don’t want to copy the Facebook feed, but that’s what people feel familiar with.”

EverySignal’s business plan involves using the same kind of social data for more commercial purposes, both for power users and for businesses, brands, and agencies.

“We have potential to build a very large business by offering a free product everyone can enjoy and then offering professional features we can charge for … things like getting more real-time updates through a mobile applications or SMS alerts, or access to more information within a network,” said Merrill.

EverySignal launched today from the Science incubator in Los Angeles. Science is about one year old and was founded by former MySpace CEO Mike Jones and Color co-founder Peter Pham.

Top image courtesy of Peshkova, Shutterstock


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