Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Xobni and LinkedIn Integration

Xobni = Inbox (backwards). Clever, huh? It's an Outlook plugin that tries to make your email experience a little more "social." Or as they describe,

Xobni offers a new way to organize and search your Outlook email. Xobni creates profiles for each person that emails you. These profiles contain relationship statistics, contact information, social connections, threaded conversations, and shared attachments
I came across Xobni some time ago when they were quite they private beta thanks to my coworker Luke. The app spread like wildfire around the office since it looks so cool, but died down a bit when it seemed a little useless. Their most recent release seems to have taken Xobni past the "product tipping point" (I'm referencing a great idea/article by R/W/W about FriendFeed here). They added two important things, LinkedIn integration and Folder Selection.

The LinkedIn integration worked well enough. Especially at Zecco, plenty of people have LinkedIn profiles set up, so now when I get an email, I get to see their picture and a couple relevant facts from their public LinkedIn profile. Awesome.

Even better are the stats. Now that I can select which folders Xobni looks at, I can include "Deleted Items." That's great because 90% of my emails end up in the trash (after I've dealt with them, of course). This makes all the stats it calculates a bit more accurate, meaningful, and interesting - if still a little dubious.

For example, I can see that Purni responds to me faster than anyone else at Zecco. Which I believe, though doubt that her average response time is actually 4 minutes.

And I can see my relative mail traffic over the course of a day (though I find it a little odd that my sent-mail patterns is so closely correlated to received).

Anyway, it's cool stuff - and I can see the potential for this improving the way I operate at work. Anything that can make email more efficient is OK by me. Else we'll all be declaring email bankruptcy soon.

More about Xobni...