The Official Meta Lockin Shame & Short-term Solution List

Updated 6/12/05: Linked in removed!
Updated 6/13/05: My Yahoo added.
Updated 6/13/05: Hotmail added.


Perhaps the thing I hate most with Internet services is the inability to get your data exported easily. I wanted to export my GMAIL contacts the other day and it turns out that the only way to do this is the tedious ten-step process of cutting and pasting the names out of GMAIL and into Excel, saving them as a CSV file.

Of course, my readers responded by pointing out that you can’t get your contacts out of LinkedIn either. Since I know folks at both these firms I’ve start the Official Meta Lockin Shame & Short Term solution List (OMLSST). The goal of this list is to highlight the services that really need an export feature, to publicly shameencourage these folks to add an export features.

Lockin is evilnot to mention not very Web2.0so let’s all agree to build export tools shall we?

You can help by linking to this post from your blog with suggestions of programs/services that need export features, as well as work arounds you find/create. If you don’t have a blog post to the comments.

1. GMAIL: EXPORT CONTACTS and EMAIL
Solutions: a) cut and paste list to EXCEL and save as CSV, b) Download the GMAIL Address Book Exporter (I haven’t tested this yet, if you have post your experiences in the comments below).

2. Linked: Export Contact list.
Linked in has plenty of instructions on how to export your contacts from Outlook and Palm, but none (that I can find, or this user) on how to export your contact. Reid, say it ain’t so!
Solutions: I found this software but haven’t tried it yet.

UPDATE: Linked in just placed a comment below saying they *just* released an export featuregood for you LinkedIn! Here is what they said:

On LinkedIn, just go to your “My Contacts” list, and click “Export all connections” at the bottom of the screen. Additionally, you can download a v-card for every one of your connections.

3. MyYahoo: Export OMPL. Jeremy points to My.Yahoo’s lack of support for OPML (can anyone else confirm this?). Now, if Bloglines, Newsgator, and FeedDemon which are run by 1-5 tech people each can support OPML why doesn’t Yahoo which has thousands of employees? My Yahoo could add this feature in 10 *technical* minutes and they should. I know some folks over there (heck we’re partners on some things!), and they are really good people. I’m *sure* they will add this feature. For now, does anyone have a hack to export an OMPL file from My Yahoo?

4. Hotmail: Export contacts. According to Leo in our comments Hotmail doesn’t support contact exports. Come on, Hotmail has been around since 1927! Scoble… can you get on this please?!?! 🙂
Solution: Trumba outlines the old cut and paste trick.

Last updated: June 13th 2005.

Leave a Reply