plaxo = jigga wha?

As I begin to write this I feel my browser slowing down to a mere crawl. This might have something to do with the fact that Firefox tends to have a memory leak (kind of like my brain) or that on one of my tabs I have Plaxo 3.0 beta up and walking. Ah Plaxo.

Remember the good old days with that Plaxo plug-in for your Outlook? At first the idea to sync your contacts and allow people to update their own business cards seemed really great. But in practice? Not so good, IMO. Why you ask? Let’s take a look at the holes in their original play…

1) Plaxo annoyed the hell out of everyone by spamming your entire contact list with invites and requests to update – this was enough to make me remove the plug-in long ago.

2) Plaxo tried to upsell me on services – I find this particularly annoying when I am hanging on by a thread to begin with. I might be an exception to the free services rule in that if I feel something is worth paying for, you don’t need to sell me on it. I never felt Plaxo was worth paying anything for.

3) I actually don’t want my contacts to update their information. Why? Because I am totally anally retentive and I like for the data in my contacts to be complete and uniform. In general people are lazy. They don’t update their information after they input it the first time, so I can’t even trust the information that is given.

With that said, Plaxo has further extended their reach into the world by offering up their latest Plaxo Pulse product (get stuck up in your PPPs). Pulse aggregates content from all of your social networks, photo sharing, blogs, social bookmarking and any other 2.0 content you can think of into a timeline that is mashed up with the rest of your contacts. Again, in theory it sounds great. But leave it up to Plaxo to make it a giant pain in the ass nerd feature that is unusable to the average joe. Then top that off with Open Social integration (which doesn’t even work) and I’m lost as the survivors of Oceanic Air 815.

What exactly is Plaxo’s strategy (apart from getting bought)? I don’t know if their aim is to be an address book, a social content aggregator, a calendar solution… What is the point? To me they are trying to do too much and achieving mediocre results in every field. The site is a giant mess of memory sucking, over engineered, zero design aesthetic, bag of horrible usability. /end of rant

I would link you to my Plaxo profile, but I can’t figure out where or how, nor do I even care at this point.