Monthly Archives: October 2011

Gist for BlackBerry review

With the purchase of Gist by Research In Motion (back in Dec 2010), I would presume the updated Gist client would be integrated tightly and pretty cool.  I was disappointed.

I downloaded the 1.6.12 version client while at BlackBerry DevCon.  After the 2.5 MB package installed, and I approved the trusted status I went to work with the features.

The first step was logging into an existing Gist account or creating a new one.  I recently posted how Gist had removed basically a year of work and data in building my dashboard.  So while I had a login I had no data behind it.

Gist accounts setup

As you can see, I hooked Twitter in right away and hesitated with the others until I saw what it did with synchronizing the contact data.  My point being that I did not want all my contacts being merged into my BlackBerry from all of the above networks.

You are also able to share, send feedback and look at the license agreement lower in Image 1 above.

From there I explored a bit and I am choosing Caleb Elston of Yobongo as my test victim.  It pulled his bio from Twitter (so this screenshot shows nothing outside what is public there anyway) and if I continued to hook to things like Google Apps or even Facebook, it would draw even more information.

Gist profile

The number you see is the order of importance you assign to users for updates and placement in the dashboard.  That takes a lot of tweaking over time when you have hundreds to thousands of contacts and companies in the dashboard on the web.

I did find out that no contacts were brought into my BlackBerry address book and any advanced things I wanted to know about them I had to do inside the Gist application itself.  As you can see, there is another tab to show the contact feed from all the places you hook together about them.  This includes Twitter, blogs, Facebook, corporate news and more.

Gist contact news feed

There was not much else possible in the menus except to be able to email every one of the contacts in your Gist address book.  A scary thought that you may want to send an email that size, and it was unclear what email account sent them as I was scared to even click that option not knowing if there was another prompt behind it.

One other option in the menu is to read your calendar for upcoming meetings and then gather data about the other attendees that it matches to your Gist listing.  I only had one that matched and I got the same information from the images above.  It could be a good way to gather information before your meeting, but you need those people to be synchronized with Gist to get the full effect. It even states in a help screen that the more connected you are to a person across the social networks the richer the profile available.

From there I have closed the application and not really opened it again on the BlackBerry. I did the reverse test where I had a contact locally in my address book and I used the menu item to ‘Get the Gist” on that person.

You can share news and things from inside the application about those.  I am unsure how security works if that person allows you to be their friend on Facebook or follow them on Twitter, does it obey the security and sharing functions of those services? These are a few more things I need to test later.

The app itself had below a 3 star rating in AppWorld which is curious since it did so well before and is actually owned by RIM now, I would think the integration and development behind it would make this a 5 star app.

Social Business is just “know, like, trust”

We are all on the receiving end of what is a non-stop tirade about how your Social Businessbusiness is not social enough and where you are lacking at becoming one.  It might revolve around software, time investment or even how you are not transparent or nimble in the marketplace.

I am beginning to feel much of this is not true no matter how transparent you make yourself.  It was summarized well by Jason Falls at a recent speaking event and then the dinner after when a lot of this sunk in.

Much of social business is not so much about what the business does on the back end, but how much the consumers know, like and trust you.


Outside of you personally being knowledgeable about a business, word of mouth is still the strongest form of recommendation engine that exists.  Starting with friends and family and moving into the concierge at the hotel, they tell you based on knowledge and experience where to go.  You then know of it.

Sure, the business can have banners, Twitter accounts, Facebook fan pages or other forms of social media.  But until you experience it or someone close does, you do not know it.  Certainly there are tons of places you pass daily or have read about, that you wouldn’t claim knowledge.

You might refer the fact that “my sister went there for dinner” which moves into knowledge.  Otherwise you say I pass that place all the time, but I know nothing about it.


After knowing a place well enough to try it, you make an instant assessment of countless areas of your experience.  Any portion is scrutinized and you form some mental scoring that balances into like or dislike.  This result gets transposed back into knowledge and passed on to others building the cycle ad influence.

The like portion of this formula is crucial to the trust and recommendations.  If it fails, there is no trust and bad recommendations are passed along as dislike.  A pleasant experience that is had one to numerous times moves you along to the final portion.


Once you know a business, person, site or whatever and like them, the comfort level rises and minor issues are ignored.  You begin to trust that you will have a pleasant experience more often that not (or never) and will gladly pass this along as like and know.  As well as revisit again and again yourself.

Everyone has a small circle of trusted places to eat for lunch.  It might be the speedy service, friendly staff, low cost or total combination that is always met bringing you back again and again.  You then drag along other saying you know and like this place.  They then gain the same knowledge and liking building their trust.


So what we are starting to hear is that businesses should invest heavily in software, analytics to gauge sentiment and dedicating resources to start being more social.  What you find is that no matter how much money you throw at becoming transparent, nimble and whatever else, it doesn’t matter if the consumer doesn’t know, like and trust you first.  Otherwise the message from being a social business is never received.