Image via WikipediaWhile skimming through my friends’ tweets on Twitter last week, I noticed a mention of something called chi.mp. The first thing I noticed upon visiting the site is the need for a beta code to sign up. I hate having to wait after requesting a code, but I also know that it means they’re doing something right, and I have less fear of it being overloaded while I’m using it. I submitted my request for a beta code and forgot all about it, as I do often. Today, I got my beta code in the mail and jumped right in.
What is chi.mp?
chi.mp touts itself as “the dashboard for your digital life”. That’s great, but what does that really mean? Any service I sign up for online should do one of three things for me: promote my brand/name/site, make me money, or save me time. This one falls into the “save me time” category, but it also fits into a fourth category. It gives me more control over who sees what.
For example, Rob and Anthony are surfing buddies of mine and I want to share with them my activity on surfersgonewild.com. However, I only want to show them and not, say, my family or my boss. With chi.mp I can label Rob and Anthony with the tag â€˜surfersâ€™ and then label my activity from surfersgonewild.com with the same tag. When Rob or Anthony visit my domain they will be able to see all my surfing escapades, but no one else will. I get to share my surfing side with my buddies but keep my professional persona intact for work purposes.
The only downside is that I have to give out the domain, but I’ll talk about portability below.
Let’s talk about the control
Frankly, I don’t care as much about the OpenID end of things. It’s nice that it remembers all my passwords, but I’m more interested in the control of information. I have a tech blog, but I like to talk about marketing, too, and I have 2 companies and a radio station and friends and family. Many of these contacts fall into multiple groups. I live my life somewhat transparently, so I don’t feel much of a need to “hide” information from my contacts, although I like that I can share my phone number only with people I tag, say, “phone-allowed”. The control chi.mp promises for me is the ability to give contacts tags that I can then tie to permission to see certain things. I may only want to show my MySpace updates to people I tag “friend”, and my twitter to people I tag “twitter”, but I may want to tag a few friends as “friend” and also as “twitter” and “phone-allowed”, so they can see my tweets, my MySpace updates, and call me if they like.
Will I use it and how?
I have spent a lot of time and effort branding the domain JoeTech.com, so to imagine pointing everyone elsewhere to keep up on my online life seems a bit counter-productive to my branding efforts. However, I’m already thinking of ways I can integrate it with JoeTech.com in a way that maintains my brand. But it’s not all just about other people getting the full effect of my web presence all in one place. It also helps me keep it all together.
I really like Chi.mp. The support (so far) has been great, the site just seems to work, and it’s very smooth.