This post is shared through my Google Reader from another source. All credit of the post belongs to them which you can access by going to Visualize Your Gmail Activity With Graph Your Inbox
Shared by Edge
Pretty neat for those who like to analyze their emails.
This post is part of Mashable’s Spark of Genius series, which highlights a unique feature of startups. The series is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark.. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.
Name: Graph Your Inbox
Quick Pitch: Graph Your Inbox is a Google Chrome extension that allows you to graph Gmail activity over time.
Genius Idea: Created by Bill Zeller, a Ph.D at Princeton University, Graph Your Inbox is a Google Chrome extension that can search your Gmail account by phrases, keywords, sender, receiver or label. It then presents the data related to those queries as a bar graph that charts the number of messages month-by-month and day-by-day.
Zeller calls this Google Trends for Gmail, and that’s not a bad way to look at it. Why would you want to evaluate this kind of information?
Well, we have tools that analyze our web searches, our social media activity and our website analytics, why not take a deeper look at what is in our inboxes? Furthermore, looking at periods of extreme activity or inactivity around a certain address, phrase or label can be indicative of an overreaching trend in your inbox. Knowing about your inbox trends can help you more efficiently manage and process your e-mail and your time.
For instance, I did two searches on my primary e-mail address, one for “from:facebook” and one for “from:twitter.” Graph Your Inbox queried my Gmail account and came back with some pretty interesting data. For instance, I had no idea I’d received over 30,000 e-mail messages from Twitter in the last three years.
Looking at the breakdown by month and then by day, I could go back to events that resulted in an increase in followers or direct messages (the types of e-mail communication I get from Twitter.) For me, a peak was in January 2009, when my fiance proposed to me via Twitter. Likewise, I can see a surge in my Facebook starting at the end of August 2009. That coincides with when I joined Mashable.
Clicking on a month of a particular term will take you to a listing of all the messages from that month and an additional daily breakdown so that you can look at how many conversations took place each day of the month.
Graph Your Inbox is a free extension, and it doesn’t access any of your private data or “phone home” to Google. You must be logged into your Gmail account for the plugin to work; after you clear a search query, the results are gone.
It works with Gmail and with Google Apps accounts that have already migrated to the new opt-in infrastructure available to early adopters. For example, my primary e-mail account is a Google Apps account that has migrated to this new type of account, so it worked without issue. Another Google Apps account hasn’t become eligible for the transition process yet; as a result, Graph Your Inbox doesn’t work with it.
The data is pretty interesting, and we love the way it’s displayed. A nice feature is that when you click on a conversation, you are taken directly to that conversation in your inbox. Additional query syntaxes with some wildcards would be cool, as would a way to export some of the data as XML. With a little bit of work, we could see this being a useful tool for businesses that are trying to track e-mail campaigns, product inquiries or support requests.
Give Graph Your Inbox a try, and let us know if you see anything unique or surprising in the comments.
Sponsored by Microsoft BizSpark
BizSpark is a startup program that gives you three-year access to the latest Microsoft development tools, as well as connecting you to a nationwide network of investors and incubators. There are no upfront costs, so if your business is privately owned, less than three years old, and generates less than U.S.$1 million in annual revenue, you can sign up today.
For more Tech coverage:
- Follow Mashable Tech on Twitter
- Become a Fan on Facebook
- Subscribe to the Tech channel
- Download our free apps for iPhone and iPad