Friday, March 19, 2010

Self Updating Contacts

Yahoo today announced a cool new feature.  If you have a contact in your Yahoo contact list, and that person is also a Yahoo user, and moves, when they update their contact information, the data you have for them in your contact item for them, is updated automatically.  Of course, they have to choose to share that information for you.

This begins to solve a long standing problem.  A few years ago I discussed doing a gratis programming project for the private school my son was then attending.  We were going to come up with a online page for each Family that had kids at the school.  The parents would be able to keep the information updated on their own.  The school administration would be able to see the information.  Additionally, we were thinking of features so parents could share contact information with other parents to make it easier to build the community aspects of the small school.  Alas, we never went forward with it.  It could have gone a long way to keeping the information accurate and taking a cumbersome burden off the admin support staff.

Our church staff is always struggling to keep contact information up to date.  I was thinking of giving them the same code.

I stopped using Yahoo as my primary platform a while ago and now am firmly in the clenches of Google.  I have always thought Google needs to improve their contact handling, perhaps going so far as buying Salesforce and putting a personal contact handling ability into it.  That way Google could handle contacts for both individuals, small and large businesses tied to all their services.  Google Contacts now is nicely tied to their services like Gmail and Voice.

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