A Contact Updater Your Friends Won’t Hate
For as long as I’ve been covering technology, I have been meeting entrepreneurs who were trying to solve the address book. You know the problem: Your contacts get out of sync across your accounts. People get lost or fall out of date. Etc.
There have been smart solutions to the Contact Problem, but most share another problem: They monkey with the fundamental social process of getting and updating contact information. Plaxo showed that it’s not enough to have a product that automagically keeps people in sync with each other if some don’t trust the app.
If you’re going to insert yourself into the dance of exchanging contact information, you’ve got to move to the rhythm. Of the services I’ve seen that try to do this, one of the best is Kwaga’s newish WriteThatName. It gets into your email, monitoring for messages with signature blocks. It then parses those text blocks and adds to or updates your existing address books.
It works because it quietly does smart things with your established communication process, and it doesn’t require any change at all in the social waltz. It’s simple and brilliant.
It’s so good, you forget it’s there. Then the bill for the service comes as a surprise. Which is not good. So CEO Philippe Laval will be adding personal assistant features into the app: Automatic prioritization, reminders to attend to emails from people deemed important, and so on. Hopefully, WriteThatName’s in-your-face features won’t distract from its perfectly in-tune contact updating service.
P.S.: Evernote also has a product in this space, Evernote Hello. It’s a very different thing. It helps you capture names and pictures of people you meet in person. I happen to think it’s awesome, and the team here keeps refining it. You might want to check it out.
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