Web 2.0 – Contact Management Redefined

Simple Contact Management Using Tags

Traditionally, contact management has meant using a program such as Microsoft Outlook or Act, or a CRM applications such as Siebel’s CRMondemand.com or Saleforce.com to manage your contact information.  It also usually means managing and tracking a significant number of fields for each individual contact or business relationship. 

How many of those fields do you actually wind up using?  Well, take a look at your Outlook, probably not a lot beyond the basics – name, phone, address and email.

Now try producing a quick list of contacts who live in "Boston" or who you can call when you have a question in "Finance", or everyone in your list that is a "Golfer".  It is not so easy in most traditional contact applications.

We have tried to take a different and simpler approach to managing contacts in our Pipeline application by leveraging the power of tagging and keeping the contact information only to the most critical.

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What is tagging?
Tagging is fancy, yet simple way in the Web 2.0 world to navigate and search through large amounts of information on a website.  Tags first emerged on the scene with online photo site, Flickr.  Flickr users began tagging photos with tags such as "costa rica", "vacation", and "fun place".  Once another user uses the same tags, it becomes very easy for other users to find all photos of say "costa rica."  Often but not always, tags are created by users. Tagging has expanded to all types of content appearing on websites – photos, news, podcasts, and even products. 

Why is tagging different than a traditional search or typical site navigation?
Tagging is different because it leverages the power and wisdom of the crowd or all users of the site.  It also provides a simple and quick way to see what is popular on a specific site.  Tags are usually displayed in a tag cloud, sometimes called a buzz cloud.  A buzz cloud displays a list of all tags used on a site or set of relevant content. More popular tags are usually displayed with larger font size or variations in font weights. 

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In Pipeline, we allow users to tag their contacts with multiple tags.  On of our customers, a real estate agent is tagging their contacts according to their buying preferences.  So, the agent can find all buyers who are interested in "Lofts" or the "West Village" in 1 easy click.

The sales agent can also find any of his contacts that work on "Wall Street" or who are food lovers – "Chef".  Those folks may have special interests when looking for housing – like a big kitchen. Just a simple and quick way to leverage your own network. 

We are also working on a new feature, to share contact information across Pipeline users at the same company.  So, in effect, two co-workers can leverage the power of each other’s network of business associates.

In summary
In summary, tagging is a simple new and cool way to search for information quickly to leverage the power of your contacts database.  You can play with People tags by signup up for a FREE account at PipelineDeals.com.

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