Google+? Whatever. Minigroup.com? Yes, please!

Minigroup logoThere has been a great deal of hoopla (that’s a technical term) over Google+. I don’t disagree that Google+ saw some significant problems with Facebook and made some good advancements and iterated on the design; privacy, management of groups of friends, better management of tagging, etc…

Many people in the industry saw the same problems with Facebook, and that’s where Calgary-based Minigroup.com started. First created about a year ago, it was the brainchild of Rupa Sandhu, Jon Parker, Yuval Kordov, Sheldon Popiel and Brad Zumwalt (and others, I’m sure … guys let me know if I missed anybody!) and they’ve got about 10 people working on it now. You’ll recognize Brad Zumwalt’s name from his private capital company, Zinc Ventures. This is an operating team that has been together for many years through several ventures … they were all part of Brad’s Veer stockphoto journey; acquiring EyeWire from Adobe, selling EyeWire to Getty Images, creating Veer and selling to Corbus.

Minigroup, simply stated, is uber-secure, uber-private and the easiest way to share the right stuff with the right people. Communicate, share, and collaborate, says their website. 

I know personally, with tons of Facebook friends from all walks of life, my status updates have become quite generic, as they are now intended for a broad audience. Well, in real life, my comments / pictures are really intended for groups; my boys weekend group, my wife’s family reunion, and as a consultant, with my clients as we share spreadsheets, documents, thoughts, videos, pictures and such.

It is in the latter thought that Minigroup excels. I think of it as a social collaboration tool, and I’ve found it spectacularly useful as a consultant. All my conversations with my clients, their staff, and all the things we share is in one place, not in various threads in my inbox and folders on my hard drive. It does an amazing job of keeping my personal groups organized, allows me to put a different “face” on each group, and keeping things private (for example, nothing on Minigroups is indexed by any search engine, there are no things similar to [Like] or [Google+] buttons). It’s also different from file-sharing sites like Dropbox, because it allows for social interaction and commentary. I even saw one blog say that it was a good replacement for Youtube. Hmmm … you think the Minigroup guys are onto something good?

So, while Google+ wants to put Facebook out of business, Minigroup just wants to give us small groups that really reflect how we think and collaborate with those around us.

Two thumbs up.