Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bye-bye Plaxo

Well, it finally happened. Plaxo has started to charge for Outlook integration. Want to download the Plaxo toolbar for Outlook, get out your credit card.

I have had a love/hate relationship with Plaxo for years. I loved it at the start because so many folks in publishing move around that it was great to be able to use Plaxo to email a request for updated information every quarter or so. I regularly got close to a hundred or so updates that changed titles, phone numbers, or addresses.

Then Plaxo took away the ability to email a request for an update to folks. Now you had to "connect" with folks and then you could get their updated information...if and when they updated it. This, of course, was far less effective.

Plaxo has made its goals clear. It wants to be Facebook. Alas, Facebook already exists and no matter how much "connecting" Plaxo offers, it will never be Facebook. And a recent partnership with Facebook, in which your Facebook posts are ported over to Plaxo, makes it clear that Facebook has no fear of Plaxo. Likely every Plaxo user is already on Facebook, or soon will be. The partnership between Facebook and Plaxo merely ensures that those who aren't already on FB become aware of it and soon realize that they would be better off posting their "status" on FB and not Plaxo. Inevitably, traffic on Plaxo will die and FB might generously offer Comcast (the current owner) a few shekels to buy it, absorb anything decent on it (if anything), and then shuttle it off to its own version of Warehouse 13.

And this is a shame. When I recently suffered a fatal computer error, my contacts' information was readily available on Plaxo (yes, I had other backups, but they required a working computer with Outlook installed to which to restore them). That certainly saved my bacon a few times in the three days it took me to reformat my hard drive and restore all of the programs and data.

But is it worth the $50 or so that Plaxo wants me to pay for what was previously a free service? And a free service that, IMHO, is actually worth a lot less to me than it was when I could email folks requests for address updates? I think not.

So bye-bye, Plaxo. If you see Netmanage Ecco Pro around in that place where good software goes after people stop using it, please give it my regards. I still prefer it to Outlook.

Z

1 comment:

HemlockMan said...

Speaking of dumping Plaxo, have you ever done an essay on how to dump an agency and how an author should go about doing that before moving on to another agency?

I know how agents dump clients--"Goodbye". But I've never seen the other side of that coin.

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