The advent of social media sites has led to an annoying problem. My contact list is now fractured. There are some people who I contact through Facebook, others that I communicate through via Twitter and others by email.
Until recently, I’d been using Safari as my main browser – it’s the default browser on Macs. However, I’ve found that the amount of screen space sacrificed to toolbars reduces the amount of actual content I can see on the screen. So, I’ve gone back to using Google’s Chrome browser. That’s gained back some valuable pixels – important as my laptop is an 11-inch MacBook Air. However, another benefit of going to Chrome is that the GMail plug-in Rapportive works.
Rapportive is able to look at a number of social media services and searches for information about the sender of an email. It then displays that information on the right side of the screen making it easy for me to call, email or message the person.
The neat thing about Rapportive is that it simplifies the task of connecting with someone from within my email.
Email is where I spend most of my time. I receive a lot of mail each day and the GMail window is basically open on my screen all the time. When I receive a message I can instantly access that person by email, Facebook if I’m connected to them through that, LinkedIn and Twitter. Their phone numbers are put there as well.
If I click on the phone number, this automatically pulls Skype up and uses that to place the call. It can also work with Google Chat.
It’s difficult to quantify the benefits that Rapportive offers but being able to get live status updates of my contacts without having to leave my email saves me lots of time – albeit in small chunks.