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Manage your pipeline more effectively with Cloze

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a personal assistant to manage your pipeline? Of course it would, but if one isn’t in your budget Cloze can do it for you.

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A digital personal assistant

Don’t you wish you had a personal assistant who could whisper in your ear every time you meet a colleague and can’t remember their name? Or who could remind you what the heck you talked about at last week’s meeting? How about a secretary who would notify you when you need to get in touch with someone, or who could even alert you when someone hasn’t responded to your email?

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We can all dream of the perfect personal assistant, but in the meantime there are a lot of (increasingly intelligent) tools out there to help you keep track of the seemingly zillions of contacts you must maintain to run your business. Cloze is such a tool; it’s the “no-work” way to consolidate all of the information you have about your contacts into one place. It’s “smarter relationship management” for companies with long lists of prospects, clients, and colleagues to stay in touch with.

Merging info into one place

Cloze is intelligent software that automatically merges a wide array of information into one place. When you review your contacts on Cloze, you’ll see not only their email address and phone number, but also a log of all of your interactions, including emails, documents, and phone calls you’ve exchanged, notes from meetings you’ve attended together, and personal reminders. You’ll even be able to see what your contact is up to on social media sites, as Cloze syncs up with LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Besides amalgamating that mess of information you previously had scattered across multiple email accounts, spreadsheets, and sticky notes, Cloze is smart enough to learn to prioritize the contacts are the most important to you, and to remind you when it’s time to reach out.

The search feature allows you to “search for contacts the way you think.” You can look for techs at IBM, customers in Boston, or people who attended the April board meeting. Contacts can be searched and sorted by person, by company, or by meeting. Instead of displaying your contacts alphabetically, Cloze learns to arrange them by importance, and by how frequently you contact them.

Cloze helps you manage and take action

The fact that Cloze keeps track of your meetings is a particularly helpful feature. Cloze creates briefing documents that include notes, action items, documents and emails you’ve exchanged with attendees so that you have context and reminders for next week’s meeting.

It doesn’t matter if you’re using your smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer, because Cloze syncs them together on its secure, encrypted cloud.

The free account comes with a smart inbox, a contact manager, and a social media manager that optimizes your social feeds by rearranging them in order of importance. The free account also syncs your email, social, computer, and cell phone contacts.

For $13.33 per month you can get a Pro account, which, in addition to everything you get in the free bundle, also gives you a calendar and a call history, syncs with your Evernote, enriches your contacts by finding additional information, and actively reminds you when it’s time to contact someone. Cloze even lets you know when someone hasn’t responded to your email so you can follow up.

So ditch the spreadsheets and save yourself the headache of data entry. Cloze is a smarter way to manage your endless contact list.

#Cloze

Ellen Vessels, Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for her wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when she's not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.

Tech News

Tinder creators launch Ripple, a professional networking app void of pros

(TECH NEWS) Ex-Tinder employees have come together, backed by Match.com, to create a swipe-based professional network, but we don’t plan on giving it a second date.

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In 2015, we discussed briefly the possibilities of taking the dating app’s and repurposing them for professional networking. What if finding professional connections was as easy as finding a date on Tinder? Tinder (executives) literally heard us because they have introduced a solution in their new mobile app called Ripple.

Not to be confused with Ripple the cryptocurrency, Ripple the app is a professional networking tool that literally feels like Tinder.

As it should, the former CTO, Director of Engineering, and Lead Designer of Tinder all make up the founders, along with Mike Presz from Match.com. People who make good dating platforms came together for a professional networking solution that they hope makes networking easier, more natural, and more modern. I took the liberty of signing up for a few days and experimented with the app and I have a few things to say about it…

The good?

Design. Design. Design. The app has a luxuriously simple UI, and is fabulously easy to use. If you even tried Tinder for six minutes, you’ll be able to use this app. The use of symbols, big images, and easy UI is great. The application navigates simply.

It’s fantastic. It’s minimal, it’s content oriented, the interest categories are so good (but they could be better – no interest in process improvements? Go learn about Six Sigma) LinkedIn should look it. The profile set up takes no time at all, about five minutes and you’re ready to go.

But that’s about it.

Everything that’s not good? Everything else.

This is probably because the app is new, but there is nothing going on for the US market. I saw a lot of European professionals and professional groups, but zero people in my area, a major US metropolitan area also called Dallas-Fort Worth. The lack of content and the lack of professionals means the app has nothing.

I can’t rate group experience or say I met the mentor of my professional dreams because no one is on it. Which leads me to ask: What’s next?

The branding, marketing, and advertising for this app are going to have to take off. This is a beautiful product, but the lack of content makes it a pretty dull use. I had to actively remind myself to use it, and I’m in a serial relationship with LinkedIn.

Basically, no second date for me with Ripple until they get… something to happen.

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Tech News

The cutest part of CES was Sony’s AI robot doggo, Aibo

(TECH NEWS) The Consumer Electronics Show revealed the technologies that are dominating and will dominate the market, with Sony’s AI puppers stealing the show.

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One of the most endearing items to emerge from CES this year was Sony’s revamped robot dog, Aibo.

Aibo’s first unveiling in 1999 featured a blend of emergent Sony technology, such as their Memory Stick and companion operating system. By the time of its demise in 2006, the Aibo was equipped with a large vocabulary (it could speak 1,000 words) and could interact with an owner’s commands and motion. The computerized canine wasn’t limited to just the realm of their traditional counterparts, however – the 2006 model of the Aibo could take pictures from the eye-embedded camera system, play music, and write blogs.

Equipped with more personality and a better interactive capability with its environment, the 2018 Aibo looks more like a real dog as well.

Composed of 4,000 parts and OLED-screen eyes to more authentically mimic movements, Sony says it relies on sensor systems and embedded cameras akin to those in self-driving cars to provide as close to an authentic experience as they can. The cameras, located in nose and tail, allow the robot to learn its way around the house and to deliver it back to its charging station once the two-hour charge runs out.

Reviewers at CES noted that the updated version of the Aibo was very “puppy-likem” barking and scampering with unlimited energy.

The current model is also touch responsive on its head, back and under its chin, allowing the user to give “puppy love” in a way that mimics that of what real dogs like.

Perhaps proving that Aibo is capable of acting more and more like a real dog, the robot canine was unresponsive to commands from Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai on stage at its unveiling, prompting Hirai to return Aibo to Sony staff quickly.

Slated to go on sale in Japan later this year, the dog isn’t cheap, priced at nearly $1,800, but does find itself selling into a dedicated Aibo fanbase from its earlier issue and a consumer market which is hungrier and more accepting for interactive experiences of this type of poo-free pet ownership.

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Tech News

Lyft offers test rides in their autonomous cars – how’d it go?

(TECH NEWS) Lyft let passengers roll around Vegas in their self-driving cars, and surprisingly, no shocking viral videos resulted.

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If you haven’t been paying attention to the progress of self-driving cars, you’re in for a shock – they’re closer to a daily reality than you might think. As part of this year’s CES conference, Lyft offered test rides in a handful of their autonomous cars, and the results were reportedly decent.

Unlike other companies’ public tests in the past, Lyft’s demonstrations consisted of normal passengers taking normal routes in Las Vegas; there was little in the way of preemptive route control, meaning that the tests were as authentic as possible. Passengers were able to board autonomous Lyfts from the Las Vegas convention center, with some testers traveling well over three miles with minimal operator interference.

The cars themselves are designed by Aptiv, which is a technology company heretofore unaffiliated with Lyft.

While both companies are aware of the potential for flaws and the need to iron them out before production begins en masse, test riders reported that the cars were able to anticipate and respond to a myriad of traffic conditions (for example, slowing down to allow a faster vehicle to merge); this bodes well for the 2020 goal that many autonomous car companies have set.

Naturally, there were a few kinks in the cars’ respective operations, including yellow light confusion and some other finessing issues, wherein the cars’ human operators had to intervene.

The technology behind self-driving cars is only part of the equation, however. As autonomous vehicles become more commonplace, cities will have to adapt to accommodate them.

This process will most likely include things like redefining road architecture, legislation regarding car use (at the moment, autonomous cars must always have a driver in them), and implementation of smart technology.

There’s also the matter of public perception. While most of the reports from the Lyft demo in Las Vegas were positive, the fact remains that plenty of people will be skeptical of new technology – as well they should be, since any emerging technology is bound to make a few bad headlines before it evens out.

How Lyft counters this perception will be key in determining the future of its autonomous fleet, and perhaps even the future of autonomous cars as a whole.

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