Xobni is add-on software for Microsoft Outlook (and other platforms). After installing Xobni, connecting it with your various social accounts, and letting it do its data-gathering thing, it sits to the side of your Outlook window.
Xobni can store all of your data in the cloud where you have syncing capability with almost every device and platform you use (Pro version). It puts any other form of contact data syncing to shame.
When you click on an email in your inbox, in a sidebar Xobni shows you:
- The social media accounts that person has (including their most recent posts)
- All of your past correspondence with that person
- Their contact information (drawn both from your contact list, and any text that looks like contact info that Xobni can find by digging through your emails)
- A photo drawn from their LinkedIn or Facebook account
- An extremely fast search for people, links, attachments, etc.
- Autocomplete email addresses even if the person is not in your Outlook contact list (Pro version).
- Gmail/Google Apps – Called Smartr his is a very stable Beta plug-in for Google Chrome and other browsers, with a lot fewer functions than Xobni for Outlook, but still shows promise. I tried Rapportive for a while to compare, but went back to Smartr. Even thought Rapportive is well out of Beta (1.2.5) it is more limited.
- Android – Smartr again, and also still in Beta. I haven’t tried it yet (still waiting for Telus to release the Samsung Galaxy S II).
- IPhone – Private Beta
- Blackberry – An amazing app, but it choked my old BB Storm with its ridiculously limited application space memory, so I had to uninstall it. When it was on, I could see that this was probably the single most powerful social tool you could take to a conference. It’s like having a personal assistant privately able to tell you who the people at your table are!
I use this software every day (both Xobni and Smartr for Gmail), and have for over a year. Every time someone new sends me a message, Xobni provides what is simply the fastest way to see what their other connections are and which other networks they are on. Using additional gadgets you can download, you can actually request or establish connections on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other accounts for that person with one click right inside Outlook. There are not many software tools that can honestly improve your productivity. If social networking connections are important in your business, Xobni is one tool that truly can make that claim.
And yes… Xobni Basic is free and works extremely well. At $8.00 per month, the Pro version is worth paying for.
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