Plaxo: New, Worthwhile and Free

Plaxo Contacts has hit the Internet hard, fast and with surprisingly deep penetration. Here's what's up with that.

January 12, 2004

2 Min Read
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Plaxo Contacts has hit the Internet hard, fast and with surprisingly deep penetration.

When I was first approached by an e-mail from someone I didn't know, to fill out a form and send it back, I thought it was another spam trick. But when people I knew started to use this product, I figured, "Hey, why not, I 'llgive it a try."

Plaxo, for those of you who aren't in the loop, is an add-on to (currently) Outlook and Outlook Express. It permits you to keep your address book up to date, by sending e-mails back and forth between Plaxo users.

No longer will you go to your address book, and find that the e-mail address is invalid or the phone number changed. You change your info on your business or personal card, and every one who is part of your Plaxo community is automatically updated.

Of course, you have the obligatory wizards to send out these requests, and screen modifications to show you some of the additional information Plaxo collects. Later versions of the software should permit (possibly for a fee) more than just two business cards.Another interesting feature is a Web access tool, which lets you (and others should you choose) to have access to your address book on the Web. Because I carry a PDA, I find this aspect unneeded, but can definitely see its utilitarian value.

I have one problem though, and that Plaxo seems to lock up my Outlook. I run the 2002 version, and have all the latest updates, etc to both my Outlook and my W2K box. It still locks. Even after using the free online support FAQs (which told me to update everything and then said. Oops we do have some bugs), I was unable to solve my problem.

Plaxo offers a VIP support product, for a fee. I really hate paying for support, especially when their online free support says, "We know we've got some bugs to work out."

One of the advantages of writing for the trade press is you gets some perks, and in this case I got some free VIP support. It seems that the problem is the way in which I've configured my Plaxo. I run it on two computers, and until recently I used the same log-on. Thanks to the VIP support, I had to do some re-configuration, and independently changed my log-on on one of my machines. Since my reconfiguration, the amount of locking has decreased dramatically.

Plaxo " a nice utility, thumbs up!

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