Rapportive: A Plugin That Makes Your Life Easier

So there are a ton of plugins out there that beef up your browser and generally make it more dynamic and useful. One cool plugin I stumbled across that does just that is Rapportive. Rapportive is a free plugin for Chrome and Safari users. Sorry IE users! A quick aside — why in the world are you still using IE?!

Anyway, Rapportive is great because it only takes a minute to install. Once installed, it pulls contact information from the Rapleaf database and, voila, the advertisements that typically appear are gone. Instead they are replaced with bio information and links to social media outlets that sender maintains profiles with. You can also create and store personal notes directly on their profile that appears as well. Note – if the sender doesn’t use that particular email address for their social media properties, Rapportive won’t be able to provide any bio information in the sidebar.

Here is what the plugin looks like in action:

Between my Twitter feeds, Google Reader and the various other aggregation tools I use, people tend to get lost in the shuffle. That’s what I love about this tool. While I’m checking email I have access to their Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook feeds right there in my sidebar. So if it’s a new connection I can easily access that person’s social information and see what he/she is all about – or if it’s that crazy Shelly Kramer, I see what the Chief Geek of V3 is up to and whether I should pester her about something.

My only concern with the tool is that it doesn’t require your Gmail password to access your contact’s information through your inbox, meaning it has access to your emails and some of your personal information could be vulnerable. Rapportive is working to get a privacy policy in place, though, so I hope this won’t be an issue in the long run.

Are you using this tool? If so, how do you like it? How do you feel about it having access to your emails? Any other great plugins that do something similar I should now about? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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