Rapportive… two birds, one stone
I’ve seen Rapportive a few times, but never really took in the concept, mainly because the idea of letting an application enter your email is a little daunting. However, because of the way it’s been designed you aren’t risking your security,
“The contents of your email never leaves your browser, and we never store your emails anywhere. We’re finding peoples’ email addresses in the browser, and sending those back to our server to look them up.”
Here’s a quick overview,
“You can immediately see what people look like, where they’re based, and what they do. You can establish rapport by mentioning shared interests. You can grow your network by connecting on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and more. And you can record thoughts for later by leaving notes.”
Essentially what it does is replace the ads on the right hand side of an email with a social media lookup. So if you’ve received an email from John Smith, it’ll do a search for John Smith on the main social sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn (you can link in your own Facebook and LinkedIn account). As bad as it sounds because I do love Gmail, I don’t recall ever clicking an ad in Gmail. It seems to be positioned in a way that it just disappears from consciousness. Which is ideal for Rapportive, because you don’t want it to takeover your email, it’s just nice to sweep over the senders social information quickly. It’s just a little surprising that Gmail would let an external app take the place of its advertisements, but presumably it isn’t against Google rules as it’s even partly funded by Paul Buchheit, the creator of Gmail.
Founded just over a year ago, it’s been around long enough for the team to iron out the glitches you’d expect with a brand new release. I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t use Rapportive, it’s an extremely well implemented app that kills two birds with one stone.