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2 Startups Look to Ease Address Book Woes

address_bookWhile the tech world was busy watching the latest “find your friends” app I’ve actually found 2 startups looking to solve some real world issues. Namely contacts.

Keep Contact Info Updated

First you have to check out WriteThat.Namecarte

This is an idea so good and so simple you’ll wonder why it hasn’t been around for years. WriteThat.Name looks at the email signatures and updates your contact info.

That’s it. Simple and Brilliant.

So if John Doe has a new phone number in his email signature it will automatically update your address book.

It currently only works with Gmail and Google Apps but they say an Outlook plugin is on the way. Premium accounts are $20 per year but the free accounts will update 40 contacts per month.

Easily share your Contact Info

There are no shortage of sites looking to help you build a landing page that links to your contact info and social accounts (about.me, zerpl.ly, and jumpscan to name a few) so why would you even consider another service? Because most of them have forgotten that contact info is best when downloaded and how many regular folks even know what a .vcf file is?

This my friends is why ContactMonkey just leapfrogged past the rest. Does your landing page do this?

contactmonkey

It can now. (example profile)

The service is free for individuals and they offer a white-label service for brands.

They even nailed engineered a mobile site to overcome the inexplicable restriction that keeps iPhones from opening contact info from the web. Apple only allows this function via email so they invite a visitor to enter their email and they will send your contact info to them.

contactmonkeyIt may not be as pretty as some of their competition but it is a lot more useful.

Sign-up at ContactMonkey.com

PS: I keep wondering if this is a skunkworks project of MailChimp. If not it would make for a good acquisition.

Closing thoughts

I keep wondering why in 2012 address books are still disconnected. When you consider how email subscription lists allow subscribers to update their contact info why aren’t we seeing the major webmail providers doing this. Facebook or Google+ could do this with their eyes closed.

Perhaps we’ll be better off if startups get it done without the giants looking over their shoulders. Standards and APIs might build an open system that would circumvent the walled gardens of the major players.

We’ll see. In the meantime let us be thankful for startups that are building useful tools. Now can we just get someone to build a better Tungle.me?

Hat tip to @joel_hughes and @Zee for bringing these to my attention.

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