New Gist Social Profiles for Gmail Make Connecting Faster, Easier

During the past few months, we have seen beta versions of browsers launch (Rockmelt) and announcements of entire new email concepts (Facebook) to resolve one “problem” – our email is not social enough. Email doesn’t need to be social – we just need to be able to more easily socialize and connect with those we email with. Social dashboard startup Gist has the solution.

Gist Social Profiles for Gmail Firefox plugin allows you to see the entire social profile of all the people you communicate with in Gmail (or Google Apps). This plugin creates a sidebar alongside your Gmail and creates small profiles of those you are emailing with in each thread. Not only does it smartly pull a picture of the other person (or people), it also streams the latest tweets and Facebook updates from everyone in the conversation, provides each person’s company name, as well as phone numbers. You can expand any user’s module to include the latest 5 articles posted – including not just Facebook updates or tweets, but from anything else published via an RSS feed, such as a blog or┬áLinkedIn – full contact information, a list of how you are connected with them, and even a section to jot a note about the person.

The Gist sidebar can take several minutes to load if you are using it within a thread of several people, but it actually works best in a multi-person thread. In a recent thread involving 10 people, of which I’d only met 3, I was able to quickly access each of their social profiles and contact information in entirety – without ever actually having to search on Facebook, or Twitter, or Google for more about these recent acquaintances. I don’t usually find anything involving social media very groundbreaking anymore, but Gist Social Profiles are actually quite useful and time-saving.

The Gist Social Profiles for Gmail was novel to the point that it becomes a Rockmelt killer when a Chrome extension is released, but also a complete killer of whatever Facebook is planning – at least for grown-ups. Also, Gist Social Profiles could be a killer for desktop email clients, like Thunderbird. Even this girl, who manages four email accounts throughout the day, is now more than happy to have Gmail open in a real Firefox browser window for the Gist plugin – even though I still have to use that email client for the other three accounts.

Have you tried the new Gist Social Profiles for Gmail Plugin? (if you haven’t you should) Will it change the way you use email and connect with others? Or is it just another social media tool you can still do without?

Article Written by

Kelly Clay, author of Blog Without Boundaries, is a freelance writer and lifestyle advisor.

  • Karen Runtz

    Hi, I’ve been using Rapportive for some time now with my Gmail and it’s terrific. From what I can see, it has similar capabilities, as they’ve just added LinkedIn functionality.
    It’s great getting a sense of the individual behind the email.

  • Brant Power

    I keep things clean solely for the fact I can find them faster. Especially when using multi OS. When holding onto large image files one couldn’t possibly remember exactly where that file was or the file name for that matter. Having a system to rate and tag files is critical in my field of work. The trick is to have just enough sub folders to contain your content into a relative space and location. The rest should be keywords to improve item look ups and rating to help sort out what is really important and what’s just there. This could be applied to any type of content.

    It maybe over the boarder for some but I have a naming convention for every type of file or content I encounter. So that way when I look up something I know what category it’s in then all I have to do is search for a suffix.

  • Anonymous

    The act of organizing and maintaining my files keeps me in touch with the information I acquire. Although I depend heavily on my computer’s search function, I would quickly lose touch with what I have if it weren’t for my folder and subfolder system.

    Great topic!

  • Craig DeForest

    Nice, Dad. You’re of course right that organization “pops out” of filing, while it doesn’t from search. But I’m increasingly leaning toward relational databases rather than the hierarchical one of folders. For example, I organize my collection of research papers in Mekentosj Papers, which is more like iTunes than like the file system that I used to use. Sure, you can flip through hierarchically — but you can also invert that hierarchy (e.g. searching for stuff by year, then author vs. author then year), which you can’t do with a hierarchical database.

    So I, too, stand by my belief that hierarchical databases (file systems) are of fading relevance — but I stand corrected on the importance of organization itself!