Archive for October, 2007

Happy Halloween from the Zombies!

Happy Halloween from Xobni

Xobni interview and tour video on intruders.tv

Last week Immad from Intruders.tv visited the Xobni HQ for an interview with Adam, Gabor, and myself as well as a brief tour of our office. You can check it out here

Priority Beta Invites Have Begun

Following our launch at TechCrunch 40, we initiated a program by which Xobni supporters could gain priority access to the invite-only beta program by placing the “Xobni for my inbox” badge on their blog.

Xobni outlook add-in for your inbox

A few hundred Xobni loyalists have done this and yesterday we sent out invites to the first 50. If you are one of these priority beta users: thank you and we hope you are enjoying Xobni Insight.

We will continue to ship invites to the rest of the priority beta users over the next week. If you haven’t signed up already, there is still time to become a part of this group and gain priority access to the beta. Please follow the simple steps at http://www.xobni.com/priority to join.

We are looking forward to a wider release of Xobni soon. This closed beta period has allowed us to interact closely with our beta users and has been very helpful as we scale our software and our team to handle the challenges ahead. Last week we posted a blog post about the support issues and feedback we’ve been receiving. This is a good example of why the closed beta period is so valuable.

Priority beta users, please help us improve Xobni by filling out the user study survey we sent in the invitation email. As always, we love hearing your questions, thoughts, feedback, and bug reports. Please send your emails to support@xobni.com and feedback@xobni.com.

Heaven of the email world

Many Xobni users have taken the time to send messages of thanks and praise. We’ve enjoyed them so much that we’ve decided to post some quotes on our blog. Here are a few of our favorites:

“After a couple of days I am hooked. I used to struggle with email organization, but with Xobni it’s now easy to find an email from three weeks ago and see what my reply was.”

– Michelle Howard

“I could attempt to describe how I feel about the email software you have designed and how it is benefiting my team and me with regards to efficiency in a drawn-out, sophisticated, wordsmith-ish explanation. However, I’ll sum it up rather direct and to the point: this $!@* is *!!%# awesome. Seriously, Xobni is the heaven of the email world, and your team members are the angels.

Keeping up with the files and document exchanges between every contact was such a pain previously. Now I simply type in the name of the person I am on the phone with into the Xobni search box, and right there is a list of every document that has been exchanged between the two of us. “Yes, Luis, I did get that Market Opportunities document,” instead of, “hold on, let me look…no, not in that email…nope, not in that one either. Hold on….,” etc., etc.”

– Brandon Mullins, CEO BookMesh Inc

“This is a terrific product!!! I downloaded and installed it yesterday and have become addicted to using it for my searches, analysis, and am even using it as the primary reading pane.”
– Ajay Singh

“It’s fantastic how you managed to improve Outlook, giving users useful features (files exchanged, conversations, …) and information (top time to send a mail in order to get an answer quickly). I’m really fond of your ‘plug-in’ and my colleagues are too…”
– David Weinachter

“I really like it, lots of innovative details (who would have thought there’d be room for improvement given how long Outlook has been around). “Conversations” and “Files Exchanged” are very useful and are complimentary to desktop search tools. LOVE how the most recently viewed e-mail stays displayed when going to Calendar or Contacts. This alone is worth a plug-in!”

– Brent Edwards, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Starkey Hearing Research Center

“I’ve used every plug-in from Auto-mate, to Anagram, to Lookout and Google and I have to say, I’m impressed so far with your features.”
– Matt Wyndowe, Facebook

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawesome! Do I need to say more?”
– Ovande

We would love to hear more about how you are using Xobni and what you would like to see in future releases. As always, feel free to email us at feedback@xobni.com.

Thanks as always!

Skyler, Xobni Support Team

Deep in the trenches: support@xobni.com

I want to begin this blog installment by thanking everyone who has written to our support team with feature requests, bugs, and general comments; you are an important part of creating a better product. I especially want to thank those whom have repeatedly thanked us for creating Xobni. This is encouraging and helps me see that we are indeed producing a useful product.

Next, I want to express gratitude for the patience displayed by everyone who is waiting for a download code for our beta software. Our engineering team is working very hard to send out a version that will meet the performance needs and feature requests of our beta users. To those of you who have included Xobni in your blogs, articles, or personal sites, we truly appreciate it. We will send you a priority invitation code as soon as possible. To date, there are over 240 people displaying Xobni badges on their sites. Thank you, thank you! We look forward to reading your reviews once you’ve had an opportunity to test us out.

To recap the last few weeks, we’ve been experiencing the following in the support department:

The majority of support issues relate to slow performance of Outlook or Xobni as well as Xobni Sidebar loading problems. We are pleased to announce that these performance issues have been almost completely wiped out by our most recent updates. We are continuing to work on ways to improve in these areas. The Xobni memory footprint has been reduced to 50% of its original size and profile loading times have seen a 10x improvement. Sidebar loading problems are being addressed this week.

Beta users, if you have been refraining from using your Xobni, please try again and make sure that the automatic updates have been downloaded and are in effect on your computer. The most current version as of today is Xobni 1.0.3, build 2014. You can check your version by looking in the Outlook panel, selecting Xobni, and then clicking on ‘About’.

Wondering which features are most commonly being requested? Here are the top requests that we are working on:

  • Users are thrilled with the way Xobni finds contact information. They would like to take this new found data and place it within Outlook. For example, users would like to be able to take a person found in Xobni, and ‘drag and drop’ that person into Outlook’s contacts.
  • Users would like more control in filtering which information is synced from their old emails into Xobni. Data synchronization is quickly being developed to be more intuitive.
  • Manually editing contact information once Xobni has retrieved it. We understand this request and Aamir is working on it!
  • Implementing the contact picture in the profile section. This is on its way!

While working with the team here at Xobni, I’ve enjoyed witnessing the intuitive manner of the engineers and product developers. Often, they have already begun working on a new feature before such a request has even come in. This shows me that Xobni understands what is needed to make your inbox experience a happy one. Having said that, I encourage our Xobni fans to look to future product updates with optimistic confidence!

Stick with us during the beta and we will do all we can to help you out!

-Skyler, Xobni Support Team

Xobni: gearing up for success

It’s only been three weeks since we first surpassed the number of users I could count on my fingers and toes. The feedback from our beta users has been incredibly helpful. Skyler, our support guy, will be highlighting what people are saying in an upcoming post. Today, I’d like to share some of our most recent progress:

Improving performance

Xobni’s performance has increased by leaps and bounds, especially on inboxes with extremely high levels of email activity. These mega inboxes can contain hundreds of thousands of messages and span over a decade. Needless to say, Xobni must do a lot of heavy lifting to operate in such environments.

Our highest priority has been to improve memory usage and profile loading times. Xobni now uses less than half the memory it did when we launched at TechCrunch40! This memory reduction was made possible by improving the overhead of low level data structures within the .NET framework and our own data storage architecture.

Profile loading times have been dramatically improved; we modified the code to utilize our in-memory indexes more intelligently. On the most prodigious of profiles, this decreased load times from several seconds to just a few milliseconds. Sweet!

How to obtain the update

One thing we prepared in advance of our private beta was an automatic update infrastructure. It allows us to instantly share our bug fixes and feature updates with you. No new downloads required – Xobni will be updated the next time you start Outlook. So if you’re one of our private beta testers, last night we shipped you an update that’s the fastest and most stable version of Xobni Insight to date. You should notice the improvements immediately.

Don’t take our word for it
Eric Hahn, who knows what he is doing when it comes to email, made this comment on a blog of a user that cited a few of our early performance issues.

“Xobni is indeed a really cool tool. They have made MAJOR strides in performance – you should ask them for their newest build. It appears (to me) to be 5x-10x faster and no longer slows down Outlook at all. I’ve been running it for almost 2 weeks and it is really wonderful stuff. Hope this helps! -Eric”

Other new developments
Bryan is our web guru and designer. He’s been making updates to our internet-facing infrastructure, like adding additional servers and support for memcached, so that we can better handle future stages of Xobni’s growth. He recently set up Xobni’s team blogs system so each member of the team can share what they are working on and shine in their own way. Adam already has a Xobni blog set up here and Bryan now has one too. Look for more team blogs soon.

Aamir recently joined us, and has gotten up to speed quickly. He has already made contact details, names, and pictures editable in Xobni person profiles — one of our most requested features. This will give you much more control over the user profiles you see in Xobni. We hope to get it to you in the next few weeks.

We are always looking for new rockstars like Aamir, so check our jobs page to learn how you can join the team.

Growing Xobni – We're Hiring

Xobni is growing every day: new users, more lines of code, new technologies, and more buzz. Today we begin the push to grow the most critical element of our company, the team. We are hiring software engineers and software quality assurance engineers.

Our current team consists of seven highly talented individuals. Our first product, Xobni Insight, has been well received. We need to scale our organization as we shift into second gear. There is a fertile opportunity ahead of us. Are you ready to join Xobni? Check out our new jobs page.

When you dedicate as much time and effort to a company as we do with Xobni, company culture is extremely important. We’re kicking butt and having fun. The guys at Standout Jobs have helped us give a sneak peek inside Xobni life. Check it out!

Send your resume to jobs@xobni.com

On YouTube: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Lgg02cCIOto
High quality on Blip.tv: http://blip.tv/file/405285


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About Xobni

Xobni’s contact management products offer lightning fast email search and organization of your inbox, as well as an innovative and comprehensive address book for the mobile device.

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