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Summary:

Information overload.  We all experience it in this always connected world and getting to the nuggets of pertinent information is always a challenge.  There are now so many types of metadata that we must track and be able to access that the challenge just keeps growing.  […]

Information overload.  We all experience it in this always connected world and getting to the nuggets of pertinent information is always a challenge.  There are now so many types of metadata that we must track and be able to access that the challenge just keeps growing.  When I first heard the teasers about Foldera I must admit I was intrigued.  The Web 2.0 application promises to make it easy and intuitive to store all types of information in a way that no matter what it is it is within easy reach.  Podcast buddy Marc Orchant of ZDNet blogging fame has written a delightfully detailed overview of Foldera and describes exactly how it can fit into an organization’s needs.  It is well written and thought-provoking and worth a read if you are struggling with information overload.  Marc has provided a gallery of screenshots of various aspects of Foldera for the visually inclined.  I have to admit I still have some unease at the thought of having my information and data only accessible via an online application.  Time will tell if I can get over that but Foldera looks like it could be the way to start that process.  But I can’t help wondering if an individual switches over to an online program like Foldera what that might mean for mobile access.  Will the legions of smartphone and Windows Mobile users be able to interact with their data while mobile?  We’ll just have to see.

Folderscreen

-jk

  1. JK,
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts above. A couple of points:
    1. we are considering how best to support offline access. There is an offline client under development at the moment. I guess the other slant on this is that million of users already trust “online” for much of their data and identity … email in Gmail, blog content on TypePad / Blogs.com, etc.
    2. the mobile device question is right on. Oliver Starr, also of MobileCrunch, is our “Chief Mobility Officer”, and per http://www.foldera.com/folderateam.htm, he is working to “make Foldera as easily accessible via mobile devices as it already is on personal computers”. If you have specific ideas for our mobility strategy, I’d be delighted to hear what you have to say.

    Happy to discuss further,

    Michael Sampson
    Global VP of Word-of-Mouth Marketing
    Foldera, Inc.

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  2. JK,

    Seeing as how Michael brought my name up I thought I’d chime in and give you a preview of my planned roadmap for Foldera’s mobility strategy. Incidentally, this is the first time I’ve discussed these plans publically, so you might consider this something of a scoop.

    Hot on the heels of the full scale beta release will be simple messaging from your Foldera account to one or more mobile devices of your choosing. Basically, we’ll be enabling SMS messaging from the application to notify you when you have new Foldera content and what that content is.

    This will differ from simple signalling in a few key ways, the most important of which will be your ability to select what kind of content merits a notification message. For example, if you want to know about any new email in your Foldera account you can enable messaging for that feature. If you don’t care when a new appointment has been added to your calendar, you can simulataneously have email notification on, calendar event notification off.

    There will be nearly limitless ways for you to configure your personal notifications, including by priority, time, and potentially even by individual (so that the really important people on your list trigger notifications whereas garden variety email does not). This last though we are still looking into so don’t hold my feet to the fire for that one – at least not the first week!

    Following notifications we’re looking into richer data coming to your mobile from your Foldera account – whether we’ll enable document uploads to things like Windows Mobile or Symbian smartphones is yet to be decided, though for sure we’ll support some kind of MMS or email upload to push pictures and other filetypes from your Foldera account to your phone.

    The next phase will be direct Foldera access via mobile devices; this of course means that you’ll be able to log in, browse, enter data and extract data from your Foldera account all with your mobile device.

    Ultimately, because we (as people passionate about mobility) probably agree that even the best phones still leave something to be desired in the I/O department, I intend to work towards the development of a mobile device specifically optimized to work with Foldera.

    In many ways, it was the carrot of working on the development of this device that was my motivation for leaving the highly sought after Executive in Residence position I’d secured six months prior and trading the fame and glory of the VC lifestyle for the 20 hour days of start-up trench warfare that entrepreneurs like Richard (Foldera’s CEO) and I seem to love so much. I consider the opportunity to be working on the physical development of a new kind of communication and information management tool to be a once in a lifetime opportunity so you can imagine how passionate I must be about this project, particularly knowing how fanatical people like you and I already tend to be where shiny toys are concerned.

    As with everyone at Foldera working on the PC application, I’m always interested in feedback, particularly from someone that’s been playing with mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, so please get in touch with me if you feel so inclined; I’m sure your input would be very helpful.

    Regards,

    Oliver Starr, SVP of Biz Dev and Chief Mobility Officer/Blogger Foldera Corporation

    PS: Readers interested in the inside story of Foldera can get a glimpse of what it’s like to be on the Foldera team by checking out Foldera’s blog at http://foderablog.com

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  3. Oops, Oliver meant to say http://folderablog.com.

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  4. Michael and Oliver, thanks so much for chiming in with thoughts on my observations about Foldera.

    Michael, you mention an offline client- this is great news and would alleviate the primary concern that I (and I’m sure others) have about access to my important data. It’s not necessarily a trust issue as much as needing access to the data, even at those times when a connection to the web is not available. I’d love to help you test that client when you need it.

    Oliver, that’s great news that you guys are working on mobile access, which in my opinion is going to be critical to your users, especially with the growth in the mobile computing segment recently with PDAs, smartphones, and now UMPCs. I believe you will also need a mobile client, preferably on the Windows Mobile platform which is the platform of choice for mobile devices based on sheer numbers. The email notification method you mentioned is interesting but will not enable users to really work with their data when away from their desk. I’d be more than happy to talk to you about what you are doing. Either of you feel free to email me anytime at

    jk AT jkontherun DOT com.

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  5. JK,
    Right on! Thanks for pointing out the subtle difference between “trust” and “accessibility” … I entirely agree. Actually, when I was at Shared Spaces, I wrote up my thoughts about this in the Pillar 2 document as part of the 7 Pillars series. I’ve noted your offer to help test whatever we decide to do with our offline work … I will be in contact at the appropriate time.

    M.

    Michael Sampson
    Global VP of Word-of-Mouth Marketing
    Foldera, Inc.

    (I really must talk to Buzz about using ActiveWords for that comment signature instead of typing it everytime!)

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