With the wealth of social media sites that are coming available to us these days, services that help us organize all that information are going to become more and more valuable. SecondBrain is striving to become the premier service in that department.
Easy Sign Up
Getting started with SecondBrain is a snap. Simply go to the site and select your user name. For example I chose ChrisCree which created my SecondBrain URL of http://ChrisCree.secondbrain.com – easy as typing.
Then just set your password and you can start filling your SecondBrain with content. Right now there are 19 different social media sites that you can dump into your account.
Lars told me this morning that they are working on adding more including the ability to add general RSS feeds like, say, from your blog. He expects they’ll have that functionality in the next month or so.
In addition to the “automatic” content you are free to manual post info and links to your SecondBrain. They even have a handy bookmarklet that you can add to your browser to add sites as you are cruising the web. Once the bookmarklet is installed you can save info to your account that you want to save with just two clicks of the mouse. Very handy.
Build Your Network
After you get your basic content ported into your SecondBrain you can add folks from your network that you’d like to follow. As of right now the SecondBrain community still looks fairly small in their Beta roll out. As of today there are about 5,500 user accounts listed.
You can poke through the list of SecondBrain users based on different criteria such as
- Most Viewed
- Most recently joined
- Most commented
- Most followers
- Featured people
- You Follow
- Your Followers
As you build your network, you share individual items with folks as you go along.
Organize Your Brain
Here is where SecondBrain stands out from the pack of other social media aggregator sites such as FriendFeed and Plaxo Pulse. SecondBrain will help you organize your web content in two very specific ways.
First SecondBrain consolidate all your tags from your services all over the web such as StumbleUpon, YouTube or Del.icio.us into one big tag cloud. The call it the mother of all tag clouds though that seems a little over the top.
Right now I can only see about 30 or so tags on my SecondBrain profile. These are probably my most commonly used tags. But a quick look at my Del.icio.us account or my StumbleUpon tags and you see I’ve got a bit more tags than that in use. Even so I’m confident SecondBrain has indexed my tags from the various services because I tested it on a couple tags that weren’t shown and got the expected results.
It is in the ability to create collections of information where SecondBrain truly excels. As you add information to your account you can assign it to a particular collection.
Are you working on a project for work? You can collect links, photos, videos, and even Google Docs all in the same place. SecondBrain aggregates that collection with its own RSS feed so the entire team your working with can all subscribe to it and get updates on new information. They can even come in and add comments to that info so you can have all those ideas in one place.
Or maybe you are looking for a house because you are moving out of town for a new job. But you don’t want your boss to know about it yet? No worries.
That isn’t a problem because you can make a collection private. Doing so will keep everyone out. But, even though it’s private you can still share that collection with individual accounts. So you can let your wife see all those house listings you think would be perfect.
Overall I think SecondBrain is off to a good start.
Sure there are some features I’d like to see added. For example it would be nice to have the ability to edit and delete your posts if you want to go back and change things. Adding RSS feeds, Embedding YouTube videos directly in your SecondBrain instead of just adding links will make it even more useful.
Down the road, the ability to upload documents and files might be nice too although that would probably create storage issues for them.
If you are looking for a way to organize your online life then SecondBrain may be just what you are looking for.