I've spent the morning playing around with the Tech Preview of a product called Spindex, which is currently in a closed trial - though you can contact them and ask access; it took a few weeks for my authorisation to come through. It's a Microsoft product, which uses Silverlight (if you don't have this on your machine you'll need to install it, which is a pain for those of you with closed systems). The idea is simple - you give Spindex access to your accounts on places such as Facebook, Twitter, Evernote and specific RSS feeds and Spindex will collate this information into a single searchable database. You can then update your status or more importantly, search for the information that you need.
Spindex shows you the data that you're searching for, but just from the resources that you've given to it, as well as a general search from Bing. As you'd expect being a Microsoft product, they're keen to promote their own resources. Moreover, it tells me what is trending with my friends and colleagues, and what subtrends there are. You can then view the results, and share or remember them to your Evernote account as you go. As you interact with data in the main stream column the content in the right hand side changes to take account of what you're focussed on. You can also reply/favourite/Retweet or Like as appropriate depending on the origin of the content. This is what it looks like in action:
I have to say that I really like this. It's a great way to pull your content together (can we say Friendfeed?), but the integration is better, I like the search option, the ability to tweet/facebook from the interface and the Spindex ability to pull out stuff that it thinks is interesting - your own personal trending. It's far from being perfect - the idea of putting in RSS feeds by hand when I've got a perfectly good OPML file I could use is very irritating, and I'd like it to be able to automatically pull out photographs and videos in the way that something like JournoTwit can do, but it's early days, so I'm not going to be too harsh on it.
If you're concerned about information overload, this is a product that's headed in exactly the right direction. That it's from Microsoft is also interesting, and very pleasing. Maybe the company is finally coming to grips with this whole Internet thing?
Bottom line: This has the potential to be huge, if Microsoft manage it properly, integrate it better into a much larger range of products and add greater functionality. Certainly it's one to watch.