I will likely be labeled a waffler for this but I’d like to change my opinion on Xobni. If it will help, we can call it a clarification of my initial excitement. The thing is, I’m not really using it. The analytics fan in me stepped aside long enough to allow the everyday user a peek and found that most of Xobni’s functionality goes unused. While it’s interesting to learn that my email traffic is at a peak around 11am each day… what can I do with that knowledge?
Everything I said about Xobni remains true: its sophisticated algorithms and deep search add a visibility to my email that didn’t previously exist. The question is how to put that visibility to work for me. This is a larger issue that is coming up often these days. An increasing number of products are attempting to help us with information overload and, in the process, creating an overload of their own. Remember RescueTime, the product I trumpeted a week ago? I’ve since disabled it. I couldn’t create an actionable path out of the fact that I spent three hours in Google Docs last Thursday.
At some point all the charts and graphs need to help me, rather than just inform. A service like Mint, mentioned in the same post, provides visibility into my spending habits, which can easily translate to changes in my financial actions. I’d love for Xobni to provide the same type of insight into my email.
I’m not giving up on it just yet. I’ll keep it installed for a few more weeks to see if the functionality presents itself. In the meantime, I know there are many fans of the service out there. I’d love to hear how you’re putting Xobni to work; let me know in the comments.