trying this out - pretty cool, if a little off-putting (at how far google's tentacles extend into your online identity)
Despite rumours of a full featured CRM service from Google, we're left in wait. In the meantime, a small UK-based start up called Rapportive is seeking to fill that void.
Rapportive a new browser plugin, not unlike Xobni for Outlook, that adds dynamic contact previews to Gmail complete with profile picture, brief bio and links to their various social networking profiles. Part social, part CRM, Rapportive also features a minimalist notes area directly under the social profiles section of the sidebar.
These are very early days for the company but the basic concept, from what we can see, is that via a quick exchange of emails and little work, you're immediately given an accurate (or as accurate as Social Media can be) overview of who the person is.
Interestingly, Google Buzz could be seen as a competitor to the service. Both aim to collect various social profiles from across the web to give an up to date overview of a particular persons activities and bio. Both also find its place in gmail inboxes, sadly only one appears to have done it right. Another direct competitor is MailBrowser but after trying both out, Rapportive definitely currently appears to be the slicker of the two.
The Rapportive plugin is currently available for Firefox and Chrome only and only works with Gmail (Google Apps too but you need a start Gmail address book too). Although up and running, this is very early days for the startup who, if accepted, should find itself part of YCombinator camp.