James Mayes

Blog: Alternion. Social feed and email aggregation, search and engagement

In Facebook, LinkedIn, Recruitment, Social Media, Social Recruiting, Twitter on January 28, 2012 at 10:05 am

Been a fan of CoTweet as a Twitter client for some time, but with it’s recent demise, I’ve been looking around. If I’m going to change though, I want a significant step forward…. found it!  Alternion was in private beta for 6 months last year, launching into public beta in November 2011.

Initially, it’s a social feed aggregator.  There’s plenty enough of those around, but this one wins for me on two fronts. First the interface is clean, effective, easy to use and second, the sheer number of services you can integrate kills anything else I’ve seen. Sure, HootSuite or TweetDeck will take care of LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter in one place – but this, if you so wish, will connect to over TWO HUNDRED different services. No-one I know uses that range, but most people I know have one or two niche sites they like which won’t connect and aggregate easily. This may well win them over where the mainstream tools fail.  There are too many for a decent screen grab – so this shot just shows you those for the blog sites it’ll connect with. You get the idea….

One thing I would like is the ability to push out to more than the big three social networks mentioned here – but this is currently in line with other standards being set and will no doubt develop further in time. I also note that despite the proliferation of photo sites, music sites, blogging, social networking… there’s no support for GooglePlus yet. I’d imagine that’ll be added pretty soon though. By the way, that photo aspect?

Moving on from Social, Alternion also allows you to integrate email accounts – support is right there for GMail and other internet account, plus full support for POP and IMAP accounts. You can view either combined or separate inboxs and undertake regular email tasks (though you lose some of the advanced functionality things like GMail offer).

There’s also a Contacts aggregator – so my LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook connections, all grouped and searchable. Handy, if your networks are different on each platform and you can’t remember where you connected with Mr X. There seems to be a limit on the number imported, but again, I think this is a beta issue and will be resolved in the longer term. The social address book could well be the gem in this product for many users.

The ability to customise what’s displayed on your own profile, and import from those various other sites will no doubt appeal to some. Likewise, the ability to search / explore others users will certainly have some sourcers showing interest. The privacy and notification options seem accessible and simple too.

How quickly Alternion progresses past these earlier limitations, I don’t know.  Certainly though, for a product just into public beta, it looks remarkably extensive in ambition and polished in presentation.  What else does it need? Well, for me they’ve done a great job of the connectivity and they’ve nailed multi-account connections for Facebook and Twitter. I’m not yet seeing scheduling options though, or the ability for company accounts – seems a single-user product is the current aim. I’d like to use my own bit.ly account for link shortening too – read why here.

Regardless, I’ll be keeping close to this one!

  1. Would love to get your feedback on our Beta product. Not geared toward social search, but managing twitter like G+

  2. Ha! would help if I told you the product 🙂 SMAK http://www.mysmak.com

  3. Thanks for sharing James. Trying it right now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: