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Email is no more just another way of communication in this Web2.0 generation. Our dependence on robust email has increased significantly, and every time we open our Outlook, it can sometimes remind us how careless we have been in organizing our emails and contacts. When we deal with 100s of email every day, it often becomes an unrewarding experience to work with Outlook for searching emails, especially if they are buried inside fragmented conversations! It is not something we love to do.
A group of young and talented guys from California understood this pain and came up with a solution for MS Outlook and they called it as Xobni which is "inbox" spelled backwards. This solution came as a plug-in for MS Outlook. Though Xobni is in its early stage, but it’s such an intelligent piece of software that even Bill Gates has called Xobni "the next generation of social networking".
Xobni has further pushed social networking into the next generation by helping us identify the level and type of communication that we can have with a person or group, keeping in mind the need to communicate differently with different people. Both LinkedIn and Facebook , which probably, are among the top choices for professional and social networking, have integrated in Xobni.
Xobni sidebar LinkedIn module crawls to the LinkedIn website for the person’s profile information and returns with his photograph, if available, their current job title and employer name without we actually going to the LinkedIn site. This feature enables us to expand our professional network from within Outlook.
The technology used by Xobni helps us to identify the degree of relationship with our contacts, who we exchange most mails with. It provides us statistics like the time of the day the person is most active online, which surely helps us to identify the efficient way to reach out to a person in our network.
For any search keyword such as person’s name, the Xobni search box returns in less than a second, the facts about the person, such as how many emails you’ve sent or received from them, their Xobni rank, and what time of day you typically correspond with them. Xobni’s Outlook plug-in organizes emails into fully searchable threaded conversations linked back to those people.
Now you don’t have to compose a mail to request for a person’s phone number, Xobni has an inbuilt feature to send mail to request a person’s phone number. It also helps us to manage our meetings directly from the sidebar.
Another great feature of Xobni is that it automatically extracts a contact’s phone number from their signature, and if you have Skype installed then clicking on the phone number will place a voice call to that person through Skype. Web Search Integration feature inside the Xobni Search Bar will look for results using Yahoo’s web search in addition to your email. The first returned result is displayed at the top of the Search Results panel.
Adam Smith , the mastermind behind Xobni has been named one of MIT Tech Review’s 35 Young Innovators Under 35 .
With all of these productive tools and features embedded into Xobni, it’s hard to believe this program is free.
The team at Xobni hints that this may just be the beginning and they believe that Outlook is "the first platform they’ve integrated with." And in future they may come up with something more which may be worth waiting for.