Small-business owners have a particular challenge keeping up with email and other electronic messages, not just because they receive a lot of them but because they often don't have an assistant or someone to help organize the deluge and figure out which should get responses first.
So, if you are someone who struggles to keep on top of email across all the different places you now receive messages -- from your email inbox to all your different social networks -- you may want to try out a new cloud-based prioritization service called Cloze that just expanded its beta in mid-September.
As reported here on ZDNet last month, you can think of Cloze as an electronic assistant that watches your incoming communications and helps prioritize the ones that really matter. There are other services like this, but what makes this one especially intriguing is its ability to do this across both your email and your social networks.
Cloze does this by analyzing and rating interactions, based on the strenthen of your relationships. As relationships develop and become closer, the Cloze score for a particular person would also increase -- this is not a static prioritization, it changes dynamically based on your communications with someone.
The Cloze score considers your aggregated contacts -- looking at your inbox (supported services include Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Microsoft Outlook and Hosted Exchange) but also peeking into what's happening with your networks on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Communications are rated on a scale of 0 to 100, so you can rank what's important.
"Cloze is here to help you tame this volume," the company writes in its blog. "Target News now gives you one place to see and respond to every comment, post, Tweet, new connection or job change across all of your most important contacts."
The company has $1.2 million in seed funding from Greylock Partners, Kepha Partners, and NextView Ventures.
Over time, Cloze wants to help small-business owners and other busy professionals see which of their connections might have social connections that might, in turn, be beneficial for their own business.
Right now, you can use social networks to see who is connected with whom, but you can't really gauge the strength of that connection. Cloze will help provide more insight.
As I mentioned, Cloze is in beta right now, but it might be something worth exploring -- especially if you are missing important opportunities because you can't keep on top of all the communications you receive on a daily basis. The company hasn't announced any sort of pricing yet, but you can sign up to try it for free.