SocialThing, a Boulder, Colorado TechStars startup that aggregates all your online social updates into one slick lifestream, launched into private beta this past March in Austin, Texas at the South By Southwest Interactive event. I got a chance to get a preview of the product the week before as SocialThing showed off its stuff at TECH cocktail Boulder. I was impressed and have been using it online and via the iPhone version ever since.
Just a few weeks ago, SocialThing rolled out version 2.0 of the product. The previous version was pretty but version 2.0 looks even better than before. It offers users more control of the presentation via the settings. For example users can now sort by friends or by time. Users can also allow others to link directly to a public profile with controls on what appears in the feed. SocialThing has reworked the way they retrieve updates from all your favorite services so that updates are not pulled back in a constant flow but are batched. This allows SocialThing to indicate when there are additional updates that you might want to refresh your page to receive. Additionally, they have rolled out a new iPhone application that allows for on-the-go posting of status and trolling of your lifestream. It is pretty slick.
I think SocialThing has nailed digital lifestyle aggregation as a utility. They are not looking to create yet another destination for you to visit to carry on the conversation but rather facilitate users to create and continue conversations in the all the social places they already have lots of friends and are familiar with.
SocialThing and FriendFeed often get brought up together in conversations because they are both lifestream products but they have different objectives. FriendFeed is creating an additional place on the Web to comment and create conversations while SocialThing is making it easy to continue the conversations on all the social places users already exist. I have to say my social application bandwidth is pretty full these days so anything that can be done to make it easier to interact in all the social networks I already know and love is greatly appreciated - this is why I like SocialThing.
SocialThing is still in private beta but if you would like to give SocialThing a try you can sign up and use the invite code: twopointoh
I snapped the photo below of the nimble but passionate SocialThing team their private beta launch party at SXSW in Austin, Texas in March 2008.