SGM's "Digital Commonplace" software was designed to provide users with the ability to "track everything" – essentially allowing them to input an unlimited number of API connections into the system, and having the system manipulate the data in any way required.
The point of the "digital commonplace" is to ensure that people have the opportunity to manage the various aspects of their lives from a digital perspective. It's meant to give people the ability to consider what a "commonplace book" would have done for them (IE give them a set of ideas / projects to focus on), but now bringing that into the digital sphere.
The point is that a "digital commonplace" has never been done before.
Therefore, in designing the system, it's important to consider exactly what it actually needs to be able to do in order to function effectively. This came down to systems – the ability to manipulate data in such a way that it allowed people to engage in a number of different opportunities that they may not have been aware of otherwise.
The most pertinent of these would be the idea that you can "track" information about a range of different ideas, products, commodities and other things. The key is that if you're able to bring in any amount of data (from the various API connections you can have), being able to turn that into trackable information – which you can use to make pertinient decisions – is one of the most important factors that it may have.
For example, if you have a Fitbit and wish to keep track of the number of steps you walk on a daily basis, rather than having to log into FitBit's own application – you're able to port the data directly into the Digital Commonplace.
However, despite it being interesting – that functionality does not really give much benefit in terms of natural progress. This is where SGM's involvement has become pronounced – their system gives people the ability to use that data as they wish.
For example, if you're looking at using the system to keep track of your career, and are looking at getting the most out of a new workout routine; a digital commonplace would be the best tool to help you manage that in the most effective way possible. To do so, you need to be able to manipulate the various data ported into the system.
The ability to create "systems" lies at the core of the Digital Commonplace from SGM. Other "commonplace" tools have been built, but all fall by the wayside in the sense that they're typically "note" taking applications. Note taking applications do NOTHING to move people forward. They're only good as a means of keeping information in a central location.
The beauty of SGM's offering is that it actually allows you to manage the underlying way in which the various data in your system works. For example, if you recently just purchased a new suit from a tailor – you're able to store the measurements of the suit in a "tailoring" system developed by the core SGM team.
This measurements system can then be stored inside your digital commonplace and loaded at a future date if need be. It could also be compounded with extra data – in the form of different fabric manufacturers or something. The point is that the level to which the system can be managed is almost limitless. That's why so many have become interested in how it works.