Too many social contacts?

Too many social contacts?

Being ‘socially-connected’ has meant different things in different eras. Now, we stay connected without having to get out of the bed, thanks to social networks. But, it’s come to a point where there are just too many people on different social networks to keep track of.

There are two apps Ming.ly and Rapportive that come to our rescue here by aggregating contacts from Gmail, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. The merged address book is completely searchable. Both the apps pull key updates from networks, like birthdays and job changes, into a single feed, so that you can track them easily.

Ming.ly is available as a web app and also as a plug-in for Gmail, Chrome and Firefox. Rapportive is not available as a standalone Web app. The Gmail plug-ins of both Rapportive and Ming.ly display the contact information in the email in the sidebar, so you don’t have to leave your inbox to track their updates in other social networks. It also displays the communication history between you and the contact.

Other than having a separate web app, the best part about Ming.ly is that you can get in touch with your contacts through Gmail, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn without having to log out of Gmail. Clicking on the contact’s name in Mingly opens up a screen with all the details of the contact. The screen also has a nice tabbed box through which you can get in touch with the contact through email or social networks. The Twitter tab allows you to post mentions or direct messages to the contact.

The advantage with Rapportive is that the list of networks you can add is quite exhaustive, unlike Ming.ly which restricts itself to the main networks.

Linked-In has acquired Rapportive. It will be interesting to see what it can bring to Rapportive.

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