I’ve never liked Plaxo very much. The idea is good – keep your contact information in one place online and allow others to subscribe to it. If you change your information, everyone is updated at the same time. I used the service years ago. but found that the constant, daily stream of emails telling me who’s updated, requesting that I update, etc., to be very spammish. I stopped using it, but the emails kept coming. There is even a very old essay on Plaxo’s email abuse that a lot of people point to.
Plaxo has a reputation for releasing the attack dogs whenever they are slammed online. I made the mistake of voicing my opinion on an old Scoble post. By the end of the exchange I wished I had never started. Plaxo employees really feel like they are providing a much needed public service and earnestly say “all you have to do to get rid of the spam is start using the service”.
Well, a month or two ago the cost of dealing with the spam finally outweighed the cost of battling the Plaxo admin system, and I went through their handy 12 step process for removing my email from their system. Yes, they email people over and over again until they either sign up or request to be taken out of the system.
So today when I got a Plaxo email I was pissed. It turns out that it was some weird promotion by Charles O’Donnell at Union Square Ventures. I think he was trying to be creative and get more contacts, but given my history with plaxo it left a very bad taste in my mouth. Charles blogs on doing this as well (and so I am comfortable using his real name here), here. Personally, I don’t think this was a super great idea.
Plaxo, can you please find a way to run your business but never, ever email me again?
Some people think Plaxo is spam. Just like one of those Greenpeace kids, it usually comes at an inopportune time and its mildly annoying.
However, that doesn’t mean Greenpeace isn’t a good cause. In the same way, joining a network that solves your contact info and address book problems once and for all isn’t such a bad thing either, even if its methods are slightly annoying.
So, once a year, I’ll use Plaxo to ask for updates. Its selfish. I want you to type it in because I don’t want to do it myself. Can you blame me?
If you are already on Plaxo, this won’t affect you, because I’ll always have your latest info and you won’t need to do anything. If you’re not, you’ll have to do the following decide whether or not I’m the kind of guy you want to have your info.
Then, you’ll have to manually type out your info when you have a free moment, which is probably never, or politely ignore this e-mail at the risk that it hi ts your inbox limit. Isn’t it easier just to join?
Charles E. O’Donnell
P.S. I’ve attached my current information in a vcard. If you get Plaxo too, we’ll stay in touch automatically.
If you do not wish to receive update request emails from Charles E. O’Donnell, click here to opt-out.