Desktop search too much for your email-sifting needs? Always felt that all that email meant something about the people you received it from and sent it to? It actually does.
Email, the much maligned, outdated, and dying communication medium is stil, like it or not, the prevalent way to communicate in business and, for most Internet users, home. But most email packages, from Gmail to Lotus Notes, don’t tell you much more than the content of a message. Email, really, is a network. You talk to the same people a lot, exchange lots of information with them, contact them through other protocols. None of that connection is available or visible in any software package.
Well, it wasn’t. Enter Xobni (“Inbox” backwards). It tries to draw those connections, to turn email into that buzziest of buzzwords for the Web: social. Essentially, it crawls your (for now) Outlook mailbox and does some basic analytics on that database of communication and people. Who’s your number one contact? When do you get messages from a particular person most frequently? What have you sent a specific person? All of that is displayed in a nifty sidebar added into Outlook. It also does things you’d think Outlook should do, like pull out phone numbers for people from their signatures, thread conversations, and quickly search your accumulated emails.
I’ve only been playing with this for a couple hours now thanks to Lifehacker, but it looks really cool. Currently in a closed beta, but I have 5 invites if anyone’s interested. Drop a comment here or an email and I’d be happy to toss an invite your way. Windows/Outlook only, though.