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1. Deva Hazarika - September 26, 2007

Jeremy,

We have been focused for a while on using implicit metadata from within email to improve productivity of Outlook users. We have a little different take than Xobni, though. While we start by analyzing email history to determine importance of contacts, once that is done we use it as one of many factors in analyzing the importance of incoming email and providing context on a message thread and project basis, rather than a contact-focused approach. We’ve written a little about Xobni, ClearContext, and the space in this blog post – http://blog.clearcontext.com/2007/09/welcoming-xobni.html

Deva Hazarika
CEO, ClearContext Corporation

2. Wayne Mulligan - September 26, 2007

I like the breakdown of the 3 criteria that Xobni’s software uses to create a compelling user experience – same argument could be made for the Facebook news feed.

3. Jordan Mitchell - September 26, 2007

Great post. People are getting all frothed up about the “social graph” but I think an even bigger opportunity is the “implicit graph”, for the reasons you point out.

Others Online uses attention data to show you people online now and relevant to you, on any page you visit — searching the Web, shopping, blogging, etc. On the one hand, it’s a people discovery value prop. On the other hand, it could be considered the first person-to-person contextual advertising platform (being “found” in specific situations).

In either case, we make use of attention data to implicitly profile our users and increase the relevance of each introduction. So a user signs up, simply indicates their URLs (blog, etc.) and associates certain keywords to their profile, but then we automatically improve their profile with “auto-tags” based on your browsing and publishing behavior. Users have 100% control over their auto-tags, and of course it’s all opt-in.

So Jeremy, you likely didn’t take the time to update any of your social network profiles with “attention data, xobni, implicit web” but you’ve now written about it, and probably recently been browsing around those topics. We’d pick up on that and use it to improve the relevance of who you see and who you’re shown to others.

Incidently, we’ll also use that implicit behavioral data to index the content you’re paying most attention to. Which means we can not only show you the most relevant people according to topic X, but then you’ll also be able to search the Web using all those people/behaviors as a filter.

4. Charles Hudson - September 26, 2007

Jeremy,

I’ve been using Xobni too and I think it’s a strong product. The only drawback I’ve been able to identify is that I cut over to webmail awhile back and am trying to figure out whether the benefits of the Xobni plug-in outweigh what I lose by giving up the speed, shortcuts, and search in Gmail. I wrote an <a hre=”http://blog.charleshudson.net/?p=338″old post on what I wanted out of email analytics and Xobni has given me most of what I wanted.

5. Social Media: Why social network “friends” are not necessarily friends. « Lightspeed Venture Partners Blog - December 16, 2007

[…] to create this structure is actually a better indicator of the real strength of relationships. Xobni does this via email; do any readers know of any third party systems that do this for social […]

6. Bill - May 8, 2008

I actually use ClearContext extensively day in and day out. It is an Outlook Addin that I can not do without. Xobni on the other hand is a different animal. I like the search capability and I think their method of gleaning and presenting contact information is right on. I’ve often said to both of the support departments to both applications that they need to get together and merge the best capabilities of both of these applications into a single application. ClearContext is missing the smooth, easy to use search and Contacts seem to have been ignored in their app… Xobni on the other had only claims to do contacts… For a complete PRODUCTIVE email experience I want what both have to offer.

Bottom line is Microsoft should have put them both into Outlook anyway!


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