I remember getting my first Plaxo requests in 2002 from business associates asking me to update my contact information so that they could update their address books. I was so intrigued with the number of requests I received that I signed up for Plaxo.
Fast forward a few years and Plaxo became just another social networking site, but always had a powerful address book that sync’d with Outlook, Entourage, and even your Gmail accounts.
“In 2007, we became Plaxo Publishing, a social network aggregator,” said Preston Smalley, General Manager of Plaxo.com at Plaxo, Inc. “After that, we took a hard look at what we were doing and saw that there really wasn’t a need for another social networking site like LinkedIn or Facebook. So we decided to go back to our roots and offer consumers a highly integrated address book.”
In an interview, Smalley told me that Plaxo Basic now has premium features available including de-duping, which was once a paid service.
He also said that since the birthday card feature is one of their customers' favorite features, Plaxo decided to include it in the basic package. The user can get 50 occasions and birthday reminders and cards.
Facebook informs you of a birthday and you can write on that person's wall, but Plaxo takes it a step further by offering e-cards, which is a nice way to keep up with your contacts.
In addition, Smalley told me that his company added a paid service called Plaxo Platinum Sync, which actually syncs all of your address books in real time. The service is $59.99.
The big news is the introduction of Plaxo Personal Assistant which, for $79.99 a year, will automatically update your contact information using social networking sites, Zoom Info, and other online sites.