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September 8, 2011 / carlispina

Using Glossi to Create a Magazine-Style View of Social Media Streams

With many social media users using several services in the course of a day or even an hour, it can be difficult to keep track of all the available streams of information.  I recently learned about Glossi, a new service that aims to solve this problem by pulling together this information and organizing it into a display that looks like a glossy magazine.  While I have only been using Glossi for a short time, I am already impressed by the way that it displays information on a single, well-organized page that can be shared via a simple link. Currently, Glossi collects information from Twitter, Foursquare, Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook, but their homepage promises that more services will be added soon. Once users connect these accounts to Glossi, all updates are pulled in, integrated together and organized onto pages that mimic a magazine layout.  For users of Foursquare, check ins are plotted on a map at the top of the page (such as this example from the Glossi homepage). Other content is organized in basic chronological order, but, unlike many other services that pull content together from multiple streams, this does not translate to a list view.  Instead, pictures and text are interspersed across the page with each entry in a separate box.  Another nice feature is the timeline at the bottom of each page, which allows users to see the type and amount of content included in any time period to facilitate browsing through past entries. This is a great feature since it allows both users and their followers to keep track of their past activities. For example, I liked the fact that this timeline made it easy for me to find a recent trip I took to Philadelphia for a conference, so that I could see all of the pictures I had taken on the trip together in my Glossi stream.

So far, I think that Glossi shows a lot of potential as a nice way to organize and display data from multiple social media streams.  I like the look of it and can see myself continuing to use it.  I do hope that they increase the number of social media streams that can be included on a Glossi, but from what I have read, it seems that this a priority.  I also think it would be great to have more control over how the information is displayed.  Right now, Glossi automatically pulls pictures and content from your streams.  For example, if you tweet a link to an article, Glossi automatically selects which picture to display from that article and often crops the photo in an unusual way.  Similarly, it pulls text from tweets and posts without providing an option to edit this text.  I would prefer if this was the default but users also had the option to override this to create more customized views.  But, despite this small wish list for the future, I am very enthusiastic about the possibilities Glossi has to offer.  You can see my Glossi here or you can request an invitation to the beta here.


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