Sorry, I Don't Get Xobni

To show my open-mindedness I just un-installed Xobni for the *second* time, indicating that I’ve twice tried the email add-on in the past few months and twice decided that its value-add is not worth the performance hit.

Yes, it’s cute. It adds a nice little pane to Outlook on the right that keeps in sync with the email I’m reading and lets me see things like:

  • A histogram that shows messages by time of day
  • A ranking in my most messages exchanged list
  • A list of documents we’ve exchanged
  • A list of conversation threads we’ve had
  • The “social network” of the sender — i.e., a list of people they frequently communicate with that strikes me as touching on privacy issues.

In fact, the most fun I had with Xobni on this go-round was in letting it send rankings to my frequent email recipients a la “Hi, did you know that I’ve recently sent you 1,579 emails and you rank #3 on my list!” (To which I got the reply: “I feel sorry for numbers 2 and 1.”)

It’s all nice and cute, but it slows down my already-lumbering machine, and I don’t find the cuteness a reasonable ROI on the performance penalty.

The company apparently recently walked away from a Microsoft acquisition offer, rumored in the $20M range. 54% of Techcrunch readers survey think the company should have sold, the other 46% thought they’d be worth more a year from now.

As they say in French, on verra.

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4 responses to “Sorry, I Don't Get Xobni

  1. Thanks for the post Dave, you’ve just saved me a few hours.I haven’t installed it but I’ve pondered quite a few times on whether it would enhance my communication or would just be a fun tool for a few hours.In the never ending search for productivity boosters I certainly have lost quite a bit of time tools that end up being distractions.Onward with Lookout and GTD.

  2. I completely agree. I run Outlook in a VM, and Xobni just bogs down the entire thing. I just switched back to Lookout, which, even though nothing has been added to it in years, and they were acquired by Microsoft, is still the best way to find mail in Outlook.

  3. I use Xobni constantly… It has indexed 8+ years of emails for me. Its rapid “find as you type” interface is such a breath of fresh air over Outlook’s built in search. The ability to see conversation threads in forum format is also fantastic. You can see all of the posts from everyone in the conversation, including yourself (Handy for those odd emailers who DON’T include the previous message thread in their replies.) Its great seeing the phone number in big bold letters, too. No more opening properties or digging through your contacts. The tie-in to “linked in” is nice, too. Finally, the files exchanged list is extremely handy, when you know who sent a particular attachment, but you don’t know which email it was in. — So it does have useful functions… I do have to agree with you on one thing. It ran Outlook up to 150k of ram (from 50k before install) and that was one of the reasons why I upgraded to Vista x64 and 8gb of ram.

  4. Anything is better than the native search in Outlook…

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