Those of us who’ve been online since the early days have watched the Internet turn into something of a monster. Back in the early days if we wanted to catch up with a friend, relative or colleague we’d fire off an email and eagerly await a reply. It may have taken a few days before we received a response, but it worked after awhile.
Then along came the likes of MySpace and Facebook, offering us a way to stay in touch with everyone we ever met, if we so chose. Suddenly we could broadcast the latest developments in our lives to all our friends at once, and they could broadcast theirs to us. So far, so good.
And then Twitter burst onto the scene. LinkedIn. Pinterest. Countless social networks, and now so much information floods onto our screens that we’ve lost the ability to sort the wheat from the chaff.
There’s just too much data out there, and we’ve begun to miss the important updates amongst a million posts about… well, about nothing. Social networks seem to have turned into an endless episode of Seinfeld.
It’s with some measure of relief, then, that last week saw the unveiling of EverySignal, a unique social media aggregator that gathers only the most important announcements from your closest friends and family to present you with an easily digestible rundown, allowing you to browse the latest news either by email or on the EverySignal site itself.
EverySignal is a free to use service that scans updates from your Facebook and LinkedIn feeds (with Twitter to come in the future), using a machine-learning algorithm to identify important posts that would otherwise be lost amongst the flood of information pouring in by the minute.
In essence, EverySignal is analogous to Google Alerts, only this time for social newsfeeds. It allows you to specify certain categories (labeled ‘events’) such as birthdays, job postings and relationship changes, along with additional custom categories to suit your interests (you could create a category labeled ‘Obama’ or ‘Romney’ to follow your friends’ opinions on the election, for example).
The service then creates a digest based on those categories alone, ignoring the fluff that would otherwise fill your feed. If you’d like to keep your digest even more manageable, you can limit the number of contacts EverySignal tracks, asking it to show you posts from only your closest friends and family, or you could simply track every contact and receive all the important information without the noise of countless ‘hilarious’ cat pictures and all the other flotsam that makes your Facebook feed so unreadable.
EverySignal seems to have hit the sweet spot just at the right time, providing a timely solution to the growing problem of data overload on our favorite social sites. It seems tailor-made for all those Facebook users who’d love to cancel their membership to avoid the ridiculous surfeit of useless information, but feel compelled to stay so they don’t miss the updates that really count.
The fact is that many of us live our lives on Facebook now. Through the site we share our triumphs and setbacks, announce our joyous occasions and mourn our losses. EverySignal allows us to continue to enjoy the benefits of this, but without the drawbacks that have begun to develop. I’m all for it.