Data and information, it seems, are the new gold—the new token currency. As with money, the struggle lies not in creating or finding it, but in harnessing its power and deciding what the heck to do with it.
Epilogger thinks it can help each and every one of us do just that. They’re hitting Montreal by storm for the next few months in the hopes of spreading their gospel and recruiting the best of the best on their tight-knit team. After all, according to Epilogger co-founder Michael Nussbacher, one of the biggest parts of any idea or project is the people behind it.
“The idea is really only one part of a project,” he tells me from a café on Montreal’s St-Laurent stretch. “But what we really have on offer is a team of people who are really, really good at what they do—and who can put every aspect of an idea or project into execution. They make it happen.” Armed with their self-sufficient team and with a product they really believe in; Epilogger is hoping to become your next event’s go-to place.
Before Epilogger came along, interns were the lucky ones doing all their work. Events ended and a few poor souls would be charged with scouring the internet for any and all content related to the previous evening’s affair. Be it social media or press coverage; a wealth of tweets, Facebook convos, blog mentions, pictures, check-ins, and videos would need to be lassoed in to a single platform in order to prove how much hype and talk your event had created.
Now, event planners, promoters and individuals alike can all turn to Epilogger’s technology to aggregate and tally up all of the data and information prompted by the event. Then, the team will then hand it over to you on one, aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly silver platter—courtesy of their creative web designer, Rebecca Cohen Palacios, who is said to be stickler on seamless navigation and usability.
The story behind Epilogger is quite simple. “As bloggers, Chris and I used to be invited to a ton of promotional events and parties,” Nussbacher tells me, referring to Chris Brooker, co-founder, developer and coder behind the Epilogger platform. “We’d spend the evening meeting people, taking tons of pictures, sharing lots of content from our smartphones and seeing everyone else in the room, including journalists, basically do the same. The question the next morning was always; where did all the stuff go?”
The rest is history. They combined Brooker’s development skills with Nussbacher’s suave social and PR skills, then teamed up with Palacios, lead programmer Chris Jones and chief financial officer Astrid to create a simple solution.
A few things set Epilogger’s platform apart in the way they aggregate event data. First in line is the fact that event-goers need not log in or upload their content directly to Epilogger’s platform; there is no need to hashtag the company every time you tweet about your evening- they’ll find you.
“All of that information is actually backed up and stored on our cloud server,” Brooker explains, “so we’re not just temporarily putting it all together. We’re actually keeping that content for people in a bit of a time capsule.”
Hence the site’s motto: we’ll remember. Individuals can also choose to opt out and ask the Epilogger team to delete their content, if need be.
“Seeing as our base is in Toronto, we actually have to use Ontario’s privacy laws, which are stricter than most, as a template, “adds Brooker. “Plus, we hired one of North America’s best privacy and copyright lawyers to look over every aspect of the platform.” Perfect for the moments you don’t quite want to remember.
On top of collecting content and data, Epilogger helps organizers and individuals make sense of it—hence their ability to harness the power of information. They can, for example, provide you with a complete analytical timeline of online activity happening around the event.
In practical terms, that means that if you had to run out of the conference for a few hours and are wondering what exactly happened while you were gone to prompt 2,546 tweets within a half hour, Epilogger can tell you. If you’d like to know who was most active in chatting about the event, or you’re curious to know who exactly was posting those gazillion great pictures a minute (so you can be sure to invite them to your next party), Epilogger can fill you in. Moreover, you can keep track of the conversation that was sparked before the event, and the direction in which it continued long after the happening.
The benefits also extend beyond planner perks to event-goers. “Let’s say you keep noticing familiar faces in the crowd or realize that one same person has been at the last 7 events you’ve attended,” Nussbacher says. “Eventually, a feature we’re working on will be able to tell you what’s bringing them to all of these events and whether or not they might be someone you’d like to meet and network with. That’s another thing the platform can do for people—provide them, in many ways, with information about the community that’s attending the events.”
And by community, it should be said, he means anyone converging around a particular event, cause or discussion; whether it be in person or online. So Twitter meets Facebook meets LinkedIn meets Google Analytics.
That may be too broad of a definition for the very specific spot Epilogger is hoping to fill in the event world. The team is now in build and pivot mode. They're integrating feedback from previously covered events such as Movember and Social Media Week and honing their skills by working with increasingly large events like this year’s SXSW Interactive, for which they’ve cumulated over 615,000 tweets and shout outs, 39,000 pictures and videos, and 5,300 check-ins, as well as a slew of blog posts and external links.
If they can tackle such an epic affair, one can easily imagine what other upcoming events might be worth remembering. Summer Olympics 2012, anyone?