Plaxo is an online address book service founded by Napster co-founder Sean Parker, Minh Nguyen, and two Stanford engineering students, Todd Masonis and Cameron Ringand. I have been a loyal user of this service from some time now.
I happened to meet a person named Ghanshyam Dass in Shanghai airport (during transit), who later turned out to be the Nasdaq Director for Asia Pacific !! We exchanged cards and the next day I received a Address Update request from him.
This was when I was introduced to Plaxo (By the way this was way back in 2004) !! I immediately signed up for the service and even downloaded the Plaxo toolbar for Outlook (which was the E-Mail client used by my employer)
For those who have not used Plaxo, this is how it works:
- Plaxo has an online service which helps you to store your contacts on web.
- Plaxo also synchronizes the contacts stored on the web onto a host of mail clients like Microsoft Outlook,Thunderbird and Mac OS X Address Book. Note that the synchronization is 2 way in the sense that the contacts added/updated in the Client applications are also updated onto the web.
- You can send update requests to all/selected contacts and the updated information is synchronized across the Web and Client applications.
- If the contact is also a Plaxo user, any update of his contact information is automatically synchronized.
- The synchronization is not just limited to contacts; you can even synchronize your calendar events and Outlook Notes.
For me, Plaxo eliminated the necessity to backup my contact data. It also helped me to keep the address details of my contacts up to date !
Plaxo recently did a major service upgrade and the new version makes the service more simpler to use. The online Plaxo service has been completely revamped (“Ajaxified”). I am not impressed with the way the Contacts and Notes are displayed. The classic (previous) version displayed the data in a more user friendly way.
The all new Plaxo 3.0 now supports synchronization with Microsoft, Google, Yahoo!, Apple, AOL, Thunderbird and your mobile phone.
Plaxo also has a new toolbar for Outlook and it automatically sync’s with the online service (There is no need to manually click on the “Sync Now” button)
The service is still a Beta and I did have trouble synchronizing my calendar data with Google.
Plaxo 3.0 also introduces a new service called Pulse. I still haven’t completely explored this service; meanwhile check this link for more details on Pulse 🙂
How many of you are using Plaxo ? How many of you find the service useful ?