Who’s at the meeting? Apps that do your research… or stalking

Anthony Caruana
26 May, 2015
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Meetings, note-taking, ios, mac, macworld australiaMeetings are a necessary evil for many of us. But how do we get the most out of them. It turns out, the internet can help – not just as a fun distraction when the chatter gets boring, but for helping you be better organised and know more about the people you’re meeting.

Crystal Knows is an interesting online service. You enter the name of a person you’re meeting with and it searches the internet for references about that person. It then returns a profile sheet that describes the person with a short statement and the sort of language you might use for the best communications.

It’s all a little spooky – mainly because it seemed pretty accurate when it described me!

In a similar vein, Charlie will execute the equivalent of over 50 Google searches before each meeting. And it will do it by scanning your calendar and pulling the information together for you automatically. It then emails you a one-pager on each person you’re going to meet with.

Charlie uses social media as well as online searches to put together its profiles.

Although this one isn’t an iOS or Mac app, it’s a sign of what Microsoft is aiming for through its office applications. Revolve is a Windows Phone app that works in the background to find and display relevant insights about the people you’re going to meet. So, it’s similar to Crystal and Charlie, but wraps the service into an app.

To be honest, I’m a little torn about these applications and services. On one hand, they can be incredibly useful. I quite like Rapportive as it provides some profile information when I use my Gmail account, but it seems a lot more ‘stalky’ to have an application or service scan my calendar and put together profile pages on people I’m going to meet.

What do you think? Are these useful or creepy? I’d love to hear.

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