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November 5, 2007

Email Connections

RarePlay has an article about deriving useful social data from mails and transforming sites like Gmail, Yahoo Mail and Hotmail into implicit social networks.
An interesting experiment Yahoo (and similarly Google) is undertaking internally is called "Friend Finder". Friend Finder analyzes a user's email traffic and indicates the friends with whom a user has strong email connections based on incoming/outgoing traffic and the frequency and speed in which two parties respond to each other.

Xobni already does this for Outlook: it clusters contacts based on how frequent they appear in the same CC field and other factors.

Gmail also has a list of frequently mailed contacts based on an affinity score. Maybe it can expand the list with more information about the contacts that have the most starred messages, the longest conversations, the fastest replies or the most forwards.

Related: Social Gmail


  1. Hey... Any chance of get an invitation to try Xobni? I would love to. :) - Thanks in advance.

  2. I'm not sure you need an invitation, it's just a plug-in for Outlook, not a web app. Here's a mirror for XobniSetup.exe: (7.8 MB)

  3. Do you talk more to your closest friends over the phone rather than email?

    If the statistics can include phone, IM and blog comments etc., then the graph will make more sense.

    While gPhone is coming out, and you can do almost everything of communication through gPhone connecting to the net and PC connecting to the net, then such statistics will be realized.

  4. Love to checkout out this Xobni programme although the website states it's only available by invite. Additionally the hyperlink you provided appears not to be working. Any help is much appreciated.

  5. When I posted the link, it worked. Try this one (or search for XobniSetup.exe using your favorite file/FTP/P2P search engine).

  6. << Google and Yahoo have come up with new and very similar plans to respond to the challenge from MySpace and Facebook: They hope to turn their e-mail systems and personalized home page services (iGoogle and MyYahoo) into social networks.

    Web-based e-mail systems already contain much of what Facebook calls the social graph — the connections between people. That’s why the social networks offer to import the e-mail address books of new users to jump-start their list of friends. Yahoo and Google realize that they have this information and can use it to build their own services that connect people to their contacts. >>

    From: Inbox 2.0: Yahoo and Google to Turn E-Mail Into a Social Network


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