Online address book provider Plaxo has launched two premium services, but misses out on the opportunity to make a difference.
One of the premium services offers to eliminate duplicate entries in a users' address book, the other makes the data, including calendar, accessible on a user's mobile phone through a WAP connection. Each costs $29.95 a year or $49.95 for a bundle of both.
I can see why having access to my Plaxo data on my mobile phone has some appeal. The opportunity to delete duplicate contacts from my address book is nice to have, but not worth a dime unless you run your company's database on Plaxo.
The services are overpriced and too easy to be true. While the service could have done something creative and useful, it chose not to.
Plaxo owns one of the largest databases of address data in the world, and the company has plans to exploit that database. Before you jump off your chair screaming "privacy violation!", think about the usefulness of, for instance, a moving service that instantly and automatically notifies your bank, newspaper and mobile phone company of your new address.
It won't even cost you a dime, because those companies will happily pay Plaxo for providing them with your latest address information. I'm not speculating here, Plaxo has previously talked about such services.
But taking the road of offering a mediocre addition to a free service apparently was more appealing than doing something creative.
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