If you are using Rapportive or Gist or Xobni, you know what I mean. At the tip of your fingertips, you now can see the online profile and presence of the contacts you are engaging with day-to-day on email.

We often say “have you Googled yourself?” and it is a good question because so much of our personal lives are displayed on the web. Of course, with search, one must take a proactive step to search for me … with Rapportive, the information is displayed automatically when I open an email or type an email address. At a glance, I can get a sense of whether you are a crazy, a connoisseur or a content expert.

I am working on a project with one of our expert network consultants, Laurent ( @opinionwatch ), and he suggested I try Rapportive in my Gmail (Google Apps) account. I had used Xobni with Outlook, but I switched to the cloud completely a few months back (and have not looked back.)

Social intelligence tools are useful and quite revealing. There are exciting new tools coming down the pike – including my colleague’s company Data Hug that promises to intelligently mine relationships from email. Give these tools a try and definitely Rapportive-ize yourself –  and see how you shape up in this increasingly transparent social web.