Synchronize Your Address Book with Google/Yahoo/MobileMe

Here's an idea:  synchronize your Address Book with Google/Yahoo/Mobile Me.  Why, you ask?  I asked that, too.  Here John Carter explains the why and how:
"There is no way to export the Mac Address Book so that it can then be imported into something like Google Mail Contacts or Yahoo Mail Contacts, but you can synchronize between your Mac Address Book and Google, Yahoo, or your MobileMe accounts.

"It's easy to do, but there are complications. . . "

"Here's the sequence:
1. Open Address Book
2. Select Preferences
3. Select Accounts

"Check the accounts you want to synchronize with.
Select 'Configure' for each account. You will asked for the username and password for that account.
Nothing happens right away. In a short while you will get a pop-up that notifies you that one of those accounts is attempting to synchronize. There may be conflicts between the two accounts that you will have to correct, choosing which entry to accept (from the other account or from the Mac account).

"When you're all done, check both the external contact list and the Mac Address Book. There will be lots to do to make them look the same (this is the part that can be complicated). But once you've done this, synchronizing thereafter will be a breeze.

"Once you've got your contact list updated in Google or Yahoo, simply export the contact list to a CSV file. That file can be imported into any other application."

"But John," I asked,  "Does putting Google or Yahoo or MobileMe in any way compromise your security and/or the privacy of the names and info you have in your Address Book?"


Then I needed to know, "Will I want to, or need to do this at some time?  I have lived this far without having this synchronized."

John explains, "It's a personal choice. Sometimes I'm away from home. The only access I have to email is through Gmail, Yahoo, or my GoDaddy account. If I don't synchronize the address book with the Mac Address Book, I may not be able to send a note to someone I'm thinking of.

"With regards to my GoDaddy account, since there is no direct sync with that provider, I then need to export the address book from either Gmail or Yahoo and import it into GoDaddy. It has to be done this way because the Mac Address Book has no way to export the address book contents into a CSV formatted file. The exports from Gmail and Yahoo can be done to a CSV formatted file."   # # #