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All Your Contacts, Automagically Updated with WriteThatName


WriteThat.Name is a real-time platform that updates your personal contacts in your e-mail address book. Requiring virtually no maintenance, you’ll forget it even exists. Whether you are a social media maven with contacts via multiple channels or a real estate agent with hundreds of clients each month, updated contact information is key.

“An average of 8,000 e-mails are analyzed … and among these 8,000, an average of 28% have signatures,” explains Brad Patterson, WriteThat.Name’s Community Manager. That’s a lot of people. It’s tough to find the time and meticulously update e-mail addresses, phone numbers, Skype usernames and Twitter handles for every person you meet. This tool aims to solve this very problem.

After creating and connecting your account, continue your e-mails as you normally do. You can even subscribe with several email addresses to centralize your contacts in one address book. When new people reach out to you or current contacts change emails, WriteThat.Name semantically detects and analyzes their signature and updates your address book accordingly. You’ll even get an email update that Peter from your local real estate company has been added to your contacts list.

WriteThatName updated contact

For those of you who feel like there’s no way to catch up now, there’s Flashback, a way to scan past e-mails and update your address book. “It was born from the feedback of our users and has been a huge hit, with one out of three users opting for the service within their first month,” says Patterson. A task as huge as this would be a bear for e-mailers to do manually themselves. Since the information is updated overnight, the burden can be lifted.

Rest assured, privacy is priority. According to WriteThat.Name’s policies, no human will ever read your messages. A computer program sifts through to find the signatures. Once analyzed, “the copies are immediately and automatically deleted” and mail is not archived in any way. Even with multiple accounts, you can aggregate your contacts through this platform.

“E-mail isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. There will always been a need for e-mail where messages are written and recorded,” Patterson says. If that’s the case, services like WriteThat.Name help make things more manageable. Until we develop instantaneous telecommunication through rapid advances in quantum entanglement, your best bet is still to keep your friends close and your contacts closer.

Guest author Stephanie Nguyen loves digital storytelling, the data way. Follow her on Twitter @nguyenist.

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About the Author'

Stephanie is Lead Designer and co-founder of Landmark, a navigation app for walking directions based on photos of buildings and landmarks. Stephanie was a guest at Y Combinator’s prestigious Female Founders Conference and was profiled in The Washington Post. Actively involved in the DC community, she is a co-producer of the DC Tech Meetup and is actively involved in encouraging technology education and mentorship for women. Follow her on Twitter @nguyenist.


2 Responses to “All Your Contacts, Automagically Updated with WriteThatName”


    Dan Greenberg

    I like this; leveraging off an already existing data source is a great way to make a tool have instant usability. However, I don't see it as catering very well to personal contacts or consumers: a) it's freemium, not free; b) when was the last time your high school friend from years back included a signature on their personal email? That seems more like a work thing, which in a professional environment would be very useful.

    We designed conXt explicitly with the goal of providing the consumer with an always current, always available, comprehensive, and cross-platform address book. Would love a chance to talk with you about it!


    Brad Patterson

    Hi Dan,

    Glad to hear that you see the value of WriteThatname especially for the professional market. That is of course where we’re finding the greatest user base and conversion of course as it’s that type of user that requires up-to-date information, cross-channel communication and for whom the ROI is obvious.

    I enjoyed checking out ConXt. The only issue I see is growing a user base that doesn’t necessarily “need” contact information that they already have (in contrast to the professional environment engaging leads and keeping in contact with their clients whose info might very well change).

    I would think the consumer pain point is low because most personal contacts are people we already have info on, and if it changes, it’s normally pretty easy to get it again via email, facebook, another friend etc. The biggest challenge I see, though, is of course how to monetize with a consumer market that is used to free or freemium and much less willing to pay. I’d certainly be interested to hear what your long-term strategy would be and wish you and your team the best of luck.

    WriteThatname community manager

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