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Managing Contacts with the p2p Plaxo in Outlook Address Book

November 8, 2003 Views (9,632) /  Comments (3) /  Trackback (0) / Digg/Share

So you have a bunch of contacts in your email software. You also have the setting “Auto-add everyone I reply to, to my address book” enabled. Now you realize you’ve ended up with a bunch of old email addresses, duplicate addresses, etc. Here’s a cool peer-to-peer (p2p) utility developed by the same team that brought you Napster…and it’s called Plaxo.

Note: If you have signed up for Plaxo and want to sign off, here is one clever way to opt out from Jeremy Wagstaff.

A friend from Hong Kong alerted me to Plaxo, and I thought what a spam-inducing piece of babble. Turns out it is a really nifty utility to manage your contacts, the UI is really simple to use, and a couple of emails here and there later, you will have all your contacts auto-recognized and input into Plaxo.

When a contact replies, any new details they’ve sent are automatically added to your Outlook. If any of these people then download and install Plaxo, any future changes to your contact details or theirs are updated automatically. In other words, Plaxo is a peer-to-peer (p2p) network, just like Napster was, or Kazaa is.

Obviously, you need to be online in order for any updates to be made.

It is a plugin, so it shows up as a menu in Outlook:

Plaxo as a plug-in in Outlook

Once there, it is pretty easy to update your own contacts, to inform your contacts about Plaxo, and to keep it all automatically updated:

Plaxo's easy interface

You can send your own updated contact information to selected people in your address book — but you may want not to send Plaxo requests to *everyone* in your address book, Plaxo really should not make that the default option.

Plaxo user invite option should be a bit more spam-averse

Overall verdict: this is really cool stuff if used sensibly! Currently works only with MS Outlook and Outlook Express, but plans are afoot to make it compatible with other mail clients, including Lotus Notes, Mozilla (Netscape) and Eudora. When that compatibility follows, what a cool tool this will be!

More info:

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^1 Kirin said on November 9, 2003 8:45 AM:

very nifty tool! thanks

^2 spooky said on November 15, 2003 6:33 PM:

Do you know any tool that helps me clean up my address book? Remove duplicates, remove mailing list “subscribe” kind of addresses etc?

^3 Shashank Tripathi said on November 18, 2003 3:04 PM:

Hi Spooky,

Sure, I’ve had good luck with “Outlook Contacts Scrubber” before:

Hope this helps!


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