Rule number 1: I can’t do business with a stranger! -Rick Ross
In the start up world we are always networking and meeting new people that can help turn ideas into realities. However; like Rick Ross, most of us will not do business with a stranger. To mitigate this we tend to seek people that are introduced by friends, or attend events like meetups to mingle with the best of the best. After meeting a person once we often forget who they were, and how you met. That’s where Rapportive comes into play. Now strangers do not exist if your using Rapportive, let me tell you why.
I needed a tool that would show me information pertaining to a certain contact. So I fired up Chrome, and installed the Rapportive plug-in, which a friend had put me onto a while back .
After opening up an email, you will see a dialog box on the right hand side of gmail like above. Rapportive takes the email address of your contact and searches the web for all accounts tied to this main email address. Here you are able to see a picture of your contact, the contacts location, and place of work. Besides this you are able to see which social networks the person has setup. Now this is the best feature. No need to google the contacts linkedin, facebook, twitter or even a skype account. Now you are able to connect with the contacts social networks with a click of a button while also viewing and setting updates without having to leave gmail. No more multiple tabs to keep tabs (no pun intended) on a contact. You are now able to monitor all of the persons social activities that can sometimes paint a great picture.
It has helped me save so much time, especially after meeting someone new. Living in NYC you meet so many people at any given time that it’s hard to keep track of your connections. Rapportive takes the guess work out of the way. I can now always know who I spoke with and sometimes even where by looking at their photo. Rapportive also lets you write private notes about a contact which makes it even easier to remember who you have met and maybe what you plan on working on with the person. A great way to jog your memory.
Another great thing about Rapportive is that features are fully vetted by way of the user community. We wrote about the importance of a community here. Someone in the Rapportive Community suggests a feature or other idea and has the rest of the community vote on it or adds to it. The staff then assigns a badge to the idea marking it as: started, under review, planned and so on. This keeps the ideas fresh and on the minds of its actual users. This is a great way to stay in tuned with the actual users and showing that what the users want they might just get! After it was acquired by LinkedIn, I thought they would lose some of that swag they had but they continue to make me a proud user.
Rapportive is a tool that all gmail users should use. Heck I don’t know why Google didn’t buy them. All email systems should have Rapportive as a default feature. It does exactly what the name suggests, it lets you build a rapport with someone in a much more efficient manner. Its a tool that makes you say why didn’t this always exist, its that good. Its ease of use, paired with all its core features and engaged community makes this a no brainer. Go out and make new friends, let Rapportive fill in some of those blanks if needed.