The results of one of my regular trawls of whats new and interesting on the interwebs deserves a mention today. Flowtown.
Flowtown is, in essence, a tool designed to help campaigners gather information on people, when all you have is their email address, and to help find ways to better target their outgoing campaign messages.
The main component of Flowtown involves importing an email database. It is then scanned, and a report is generated listing what online services that email address is associated with. I checked my own and it found several platforms I'm a member of, Facebook and so forth. It also found my age, gender and a slightly out of date location. When testing a colleagues email it found a picture of her and more accurate data.
In essence Flowtown allows you to translate sterile email addresses into a "social media profiles". You can then transfer your efforts to where your targets are spending their time, rather than trying to bring them to you. If you're going to be spending a lot of time talking to a group of people, its a lot easier to be waiting for them where they're already having discussions, rather than hunting them down.
The reports provided by Flowtown are hugely detailed, giving you a massive amount of information which you can then use to tailor your approach to the people you're targetting. They're a cut above what I've used elsewhere, and I can even see how you might start tying the data into structuring polls, or analysing reponses.
There are a number of other features, the most useful for me being integration into Campaign Monitor. I use Campaign Monitor regularly, to distribute large scale emails to campaign supporters. Its particularly good although its a little bit techy.
I can see that Flowtown could be of enormous utility to what I do on a day to day basis, trying to do outreach to people electronically is extremely time consuming and anything which can save even a few minutes is of use to me. This service should do significantly more than that, allowing me to get ahead of the curve in terms of analysing the people who're involving themselves in the campaigns I'm working on.
For marketers and digital comms people, I dont know of a better tool for doing digital outreach.
Here are a couple of the video clips which explain how Flowtown works and the various services, they do a better job than I could in describing the service.