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Presentation for LifeHackingParisMarch2011

  • postponed once
    • asked by another participant how I handled this during a previous session

Managing contacts

Because geeks have a social life too (sort of)


  1. Why?
  2. Classical tools and their limitations
  3. Own solution(s)
  4. Visualization
  5. Few exercises
  6. Safety and Privacy
  7. What's yet to come
  8. Recurrent problems


  • dynamic and important thus stressful
    • study questioning Maslow pyramid as we get feed by others
      • in "modern" society we don't hunt, we delegate thus depend on care givers
  • wrote a lot about it but implementation lagging behind
  • there is no "natural", just preparation.
  • looking for better solutions for a changing need
    • stepping outside of the comfort zone

Classical tools and their limitations

  1. paper notebook : impossible to copy or search, just alphabetic index
  2. mobile phone : difficult to extend (but getting better)
  3. mail client : no unique point of reference (URI? hooks?)
  4. central non personal server : who controls the data?
    • require to set up clients
    • tried etacts for Gmail but didn't use it so much (sold), tried Plaxo for sync
  5. personal server: you have to do the work but you control the data

Own solution(s)

Own solutions(s) (bis)

Own solutions(s) (tris)


  1. general | general radial
  2. per profile and group
  • so far mainly 3 but easy enough to change to explore
    • modify color + size + (x/y or radius/angle) by meaningful data

Few exercises

Safety and Privacy

  • crontab
    • remote backups + md5sum
    • everything going over ssh
  • rather have my social network "found" than lose those info
    • always the same economical balance between practical and effort
  • remembering WikiLeaks diplomacy cable :-#
    • truthful ... yet keeping it in mind
    • neither recording possible health or financial issues of others

What's yet to come

  • good and evil side of wiki flexibility
    • profiles do not need to have all the same information and version
      • extremely practical to test a feature without having to change everything
      • not being coherent sucks when you want to compute averages or compare
  • integration
    • more sources (speech recognition?)
    • through processes
  • using APIs more efficiently
    • have fun with geoloc
    • already covering quite a bit just with feeds
      • e.g. Google Alerts

Recurrent problems

  • risk of overload?
    • when is it "too early" to add someone?
    • overall search trumps the rest
  • availability?
    • remote backup not "installed" by default
      • easy to change
  • completion?
    • current usefulness matters more
  • updates?
    • could reconsider Plaxo or FOAF or p2p social networks
  • batch group add?
  • paradox of proximity?
    • the closer one physically one is to me, the less it appears on the logs
      • thus problem in the visualization