Admit it, you've Googled yourself to see what pops up. When I Google myself, what comes up on the first page is my company's website, Inc.com, Wikipedia, LinkedIn, my book, my Twitter feed, and an article about my book. I'm a little surprised that most of the entries on the first page are actually referencing me and not another Curt Finch. But beyond Googling myself, there is so much personal data that resides on the internet that I'm involved in. What if there was a way I could search all of this personal data in order to find important information among different sources? With a new service called Greplin, that is now possible.
Greplin is a personal search engine that searches through your personal online data. It indexes a variety of websites that Google and other web search engines aren't able to access. These websites include Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Twitter, Dropbox, LinkedIn, and Facebook. On the downside, Greplin can't currently search Gtalk chats. Also, some of these websites have limitations of what can be indexed. Twitter seems the most restricted; the only information that Greplin can pull from Twitter is personal Tweets, timelines, and direct messages. LinkedIn seems pretty restricted as well, with only personal status updates and contacts showing up in Greplin searches. Greplin is free for everyone, but you can purchase a premium version which adds more personal data websites, such as Yammer, Google Apps, and Evernote. I've been playing around with Greplin and I'm really enjoying it.
What's even cooler is how this service was started. Greplin is the idea of 19-year-old Daniel Gross, an Israeli who took a chance on the start-up company Y Combinator. After a successful interview, Daniel Gross moved to the San Francisco area to work at Y Combinator instead of starting his service in the Israeli Army immediately after high school. Gross didn't do well at Y Combinator. However, in his final 48 hours at the company, he decided to make a rough demo of a very inspired idea: Greplin. Gross learned a valuable lesson at Y Combinator: it is much easier to design a product when the designer can also be the test subject. Greplin was a website that Gross wanted to use. Even more impressive is the amount of money he's been able to raise at such a young age (around $5 million dollars in funding).
Thanks to Inc.com for publishing the article about Daniel Gross so that I could find a really cool service online. So stop wasting time Googling yourself; sign up for Greplin and use your personal data to your advantage!