French startup Jolicloud has tried on various suits as a cloud-desktop-OS-cum-netbook which aimed to let you access all of your social networks and media storage services (like Flickr) through one slick interface. Facebook and Twitter became icons inside Joli OS — which evokes the look of Chrome OS on a Google Chromebook. Joli OS has a dedicated community of users, but the company recently decided to shift its efforts towards producing a new kind of platform.
"Jolicloud Me" launches in beta today and is essentially a repository of all the articles you've shared, photos you've uploaded, songs you've posted, and documents you've shared across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, and more to come. Once Jolicloud imports all of your stuff (via a simple social network plug-in screen), it's easy to thumb through it all inside a beautiful HTML5 web app and mobile app for iOS and Android. Perhaps Jolicloud's best feature is a search bar it features prominently up top that lets you find a needle in your social network haystack. For example, searching for "Andrew Bird" pulls up Andrew Bird songs I've posted to Facebook as well as an Andrew Bird album review I once shared on Twitter.
Everything you've shared across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Flickr, all in one place
If I click the Andrew Bird song, I'm zapped into Spotify, the original source of the tweet I sent out. Jolicloud is smart in that way, and even sorts everything by date and by service so it's a snap to see when and how you shared something. Search for "Brooklyn Bridge" and check out all the Brooklyn Bridge photos you've posted on Flickr and Facebook — and you can even narrow down your search by year or month. In my tests, Jolicloud didn't manage to pull in every picture or link I've ever posted, but there are still some kinks to work out.
Like Spotify, Jolicloud automatically pulls in Facebook friends and lets you see each person's "public collections," which are kind of like Pinterest boards you can follow. One public collection I found was "Christmas 2011," an album of photos shared by a user. Another collection was "Cars," an album of photos not taken by the collection's creator (the Pinterest model). Collections can be filled with various things like articles, videos, and even documents, which gives Jolicloud an edge over Pinterest. But Jolicloud isn't Pinterest, or any kind of real social network. I'm not sure how this feature fits inside the company's big picture, which is about letting you browse all the information you have shared.
If the past has been any indication, Jolicloud Me will soon support even more "sources" like Instapaper, Tumblr, Dropbox, Google Docs, YouTube, Evernote, Spotify, and Gmail. So while Jolicloud's most useful feature might be its stellar search, it's not a bad way to organize your cluttered digital life on your computer and on your smartphone. We've been told that Jolicloud is pretty close to finished and is in beta mostly to "evaluate user needs," so if you request your beta invite today, you can expect an invite within the next couple weeks.