Sunday, November 04, 2007

The rebirth of Plaxo

If you are like me, this weekend you have received ten invitations to connect with friends via Plaxo Pulse. Like a few months ago we had the weekend of Facebook, this weekend it was the Plaxo weekend. At this rate, I will have the same amount of links in Plaxo that I have in Linked-In, in a few weeks.

Many thought Plaxo was dead. Now many will realize they were wrong. Plaxo is back.

What's cool in the new version of Plaxo? What is making them comeback?
  1. they have Pulse, which is a mere copy of Facebook. But equally effective. My blog postings, my twitter updates are there automatically. I am starting to receive comments on this blog within Plaxo, which is a signal Pulse is working...
  2. they have an automatic import from Linked-In, which works well. Their target seems to be more the business people than the "friends". Facebook is trying to expand to the business world, but it might be a fluke. Who wants to be poked by his customers or be part of the zombie group of his boss?? I have a feeling they will fall short.
  3. they have synchronization. Your address book can come from many sources. It is probably too complicated and cumbersome, but it is there and works ok. The address book is king, I wrote it many times. Who owns the address book, wins the social networking war... And Plaxo is well positioned to be the king of the address book.
  4. they have mobile synchronization. Years ago, I mentioned to Plaxo they needed SyncML. They laughed at me. This year, their big announcement was "the new platform is based on SyncML"... Nice to see they changed their mind ;-) They are even embracing mobile open source, since their Windows Mobile client is Funambol. Smart move. Great to see Funambol powering Plaxo. They even have me cheering for them :-)
Will it be enough to get Microsoft to cough up another $240M for less than two percent of Plaxo? I do not think so ;-) That deal was insane and part of a bubble. The Web 2.0 bubble.

It is just too easy to come up with a social networking site and make it explode. You need a couple different features from the competition and boom, your site explodes. Once that happens, it gets boring. And people leave you for the next one. It happened to Friendster, it might happen to others as well.

There is no loyalty in Web 2.0...
Let's hope Plaxo will explode again, manage its growth (it is not easy from the infrastructure standpoint...) and keep it up. Resurgence is tough to achieve, but they made it. Do it twice would be impossible.