Friday, February 08, 2008

The Plaxo Plague

Plaxo is spreading like the plague at work due to LinkedIn connection scraping. As is typical, we're so far behind on this that Plaxo is looking to be purchased (by Google). I mean, if we were on the ball, this would have happened well before they got to that point. They were founded in 2001 after all...granted Pulse didn't launch until the summer of 2007.

That said, I like the Outlook calendar syncing. One of the comments at TechCrunch prior to the Pulse launch was, will people move over to Plaxo in place of Facebook? I'll give you one really good reason why they will. Facebook is blocked at work. Plaxo isn't. I'm sure my business isn't the only one who is blocking it. It's one of the reasons LinkedIn is big at work...not blocked.

I guess this means I should be looking at Google's OpenSocial API. Plaxo supports that. I asked LinkedIn for their API, but they never sent it along. I'm interested in some of the things that Andrew McAfee and others have talked about in using social networks to replace or augment Intranet functionality.

One of the challenges in doing that is to make sure that certain posts and links stay not to your Business Relationships, but to your Company Relationships. I will never know when someone leaves my current company on a social network. If I were to use Plaxo, or Facebook for that matter to augment internal blogs and Wikis, I would need to find a way to create a new network of individuals controlled by the company. I don't want someone who just left the company yesterday to have links to internal URLs posted in their Pulse because I posted this on an internal blog rather than an external blog. Similarly, i wouldn't want to confuse other business relationships with links to internal items.

The privacy of intellectual property is the concern. Can the OpenSocial API help in resolving that? With a little digging, we should be able to find out.

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