People Keeper

I mentioned the other day that I am working on a People Keeper project. I know a lot of people and I am horrible at keeping in touch with all of them. Especially those that live out of the area. I'd like to do a better job. This is true of both my personal and professional connections that I've made over the years.

Social networking applications are handy, but what I'd really rather have is a personal "CRM" system. I got the idea from two places. The first was from using Salesforce.com in a professional CRM context. It's a really slick piece of software, but even though they have a free personal edition it's not really intended to keep track of your friends and colleagues. The other thing that lead to the idea was reading The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. There is an anecdote in the book about a "connector" person who kept a spreadsheet with notes on all the people he knew. Birthdays, children and spouse names, etc. But a spreadsheet is too limited for my purposes.

In my last few jobs I haven't done much software development, and I didn't want my perl skills to go to waste and I wanted to finally make some use of the Mason book I purchased while working at Amazon.

So I have started prototyping out this People Keeper application. At the moment it's a glorified address book. In fact, it's not even completely functional at the moment. But once I get a basic functional prototype working, I'd like to put a slick AJAX interface on it and then incorporate other features such as mapping integration to create something of a GIS system for myself, possibly a text to speech VOIP gateway, and various other ideas.

I don't necessarily expect to release it publicly, although if I actually get it to a polished state I might consider making it multiuser. As I progress on the project I'll post more updates. Stay tuned.