Thursday, February 5, 2004

3-2-1 Contact

I have been telling myself for months that I need to update my entire address book, but I didn’t want to sit on the phone for hours tracking down friends and acquaintances and pressing them for information. If your friends are anything like mine they move about once or twice a year. Luckily, I have found a solution that has completely simplified my life and saved me hours of phone calls. I have found Plaxo.

Plaxo, Inc. is a company that eliminates the frustration, wasted time, and lost opportunities caused by having inaccurate contact information for friends, family, colleagues, and customers. Plaxo contacts are accessible via the web and work closely with Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express. Sorry Mac guys – Plaxo has no option to update your Eudora or Entourage applications.

When I tried using Plaxo to update my address book I couldn’t believe the results. I sent out 124 requests to my friends and contacts to update their information. The email Plaxo sent them took less then a minute to fill out and send back to me. Almost immediately, I received 18 replies from other Plaxo members and 56 other update responses. I was amazed. I wanted to hug someone. I no longer had to call each person and track him or her down. Plaxo, thank you!

Plaxo automatically updates your Outlook or Outlook Express. It fills out all the fields that you want people to know. This is a great way for a client to have your updated information. Even if you switch jobs you are able to swiftly change your Plaxo information online and it will automatically update across the Plaxo network. Now that is the way to keep in touch! You automatically know when your friends or acquaintances move and are able to keep in touch with them.

The basic version of Plaxo’s content management services is free. Many of you may wonder how this company makes money – I have been wondering the same thing. Plaxo professes that they do not sell any personal information unless you say you want them too and that they make much of their money off of their premium service. Indeed, I can see no change in the amount of spam I am getting as a result of joining Plaxo.

This reminds me of the old Internet days when everything was free and life was good. This is no surprise, it turns out – Plaxo’s creators are none other then Sean Parker, a co-founder of Napster, and two Stanford engineers, Todd Masonis and Cameron Ring.

If you are hesitant about signing up for this service, don’t be. Plaxo seems very reputable and is used in 200 countries around the world. It definitely has my stamp of approval. For more information about Plaxo, visit the company's web site at fb

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