Plaxo is a useful addition to the arsenal of the knowledge worker. We go through lives developing thousands of connections but probably only keep in regular contact with a couple of hundred. (This is broadly in line with the Dunbar number proposed by anthropologist Robin Dunbar.)
Plaxo vs. Google missions
Where Google plans to organise all the world’s information, Plaxo seeks to organise all our address books.
With Plaxo you complete an account and update it if you move jobs, that way your looser network can keep up to date if they are members of Plaxo too.
– Cheap, free software, you only pay for support. That also means limited growth
– Privacy concerns, where there’s data there’s risk and businesses are increasingly using online services to run their businesses; it makes sense for consumers to use similar services to run Me, Inc. Privacy restrictions makes it harder for Plaxo to monetise customer data held
– Is reliant on a critical mass of users; Plaxo only updates less than 9 per cent of my contacts and its user base does not seem to be expanding at the rate of Friendster or LinkedIn
Dunbar, R. I. M. (1992). “Neocortex size as a constraint on group size in primates”. Journal of Human Evolution.