Thursday, March 6, 2008

Why I am disgusted with Plaxo Pulse

I don't like Plaxo Pulse. It feels scary and gives me a sense of lost privacy. For years Plaxo was just an address book service in the internet. I could store my friends' address data and access them from whichever computer. From time to time I sent automatic emails which asked the to update their information.

But all of a sudden I got emails from Plaxo that someone commented on something. On what please? Wasn't Plaxo my private address book, available only for me? How could someone comment on that? Plaxo's weekly update started to tell me that friends had updated their blog or started discussion groups. Again that was information I didn't ask for. Today I received an email which took me to a comment on a Plaxo website. There someone writes about a photo of mine "It's interesting how one's imagination about a person changes when we see a photo. I imagined you very different." Scary, isn't it?

Why does my private address book make me get comments about my appearance from people I interviewed only once, on the phone months ago? I don't like that. I would like to turn all this Pulse crap off at Plaxo. But it seems that in this case I would also loose the address book update functionalities. That's what I have learned from the forum entry "Re: Plaxo Pulse violates privacy policy"

Why must this Web 2.0 crap invade everything? I don't want my address book to autonomously "connect and socialize with one another". That's much more abilities than I ask for! An address book is a very private thing and a social network is something public. I don't want these two worlds to mix. I don't want Plaxo to automatically publish my private connections and exploit them for their company purposes.

Maybe I have to dump Plaxo at all.


  1. Markus,

    I agree 100%. I have removed my contacts and canceled my account. I had my personal data published to business associates and was able to see a blogger friends home address which I know he didn't mean to have out for all his contacts to see.

    This is ridiculous and unacceptable. Bye bye Plaxo.

  2. Markus,

    Not sure what the basis of your complaint is. Plaxo has always been about keeping you connected to the people you know and care about by leveraging the power of the "network effect". Now that we are making that a richer, more interactive experience, does it seem less valuable to you? All feedback is welcome.

    John McCrea
    vp of marketing, plaxo

  3. I disagree. To me Plaxo has never "been about keeping you connected to the people you know and care about by leveraging the power of the 'network effect'". It was a place where I could backup my address book, in case that I lose my laptop. Every six months I sent an automatic email to my Plaxo contacts to update their information. Once a week I received a Plaxo email about who changed his address. That's how I used it für three years, until you startet Plaxo Pulse in 2007.

    Suddenly my address book pinged me with useless information I never asked for: Frederik shared a message using Jaiku, Frederik posted an entry on Upcoming, Harald posted a blog entry, Heissam posted weekly top artists at, Thomas sent a Plaxo eCard, Pat published a photo in Flickr and so forth. A whole load of unwanted information that I now have to filter to extract what really interests me: addresses and phone numbers.

    Plaxo Pulse was an unpleasant surprise, like if my toaster suddenly started to talk. It's scary, noisy and distracting. I didn't sign up for such a service and I don't want it. An address book should be an address book and nothing more. I don't need "a richer, more interactive experience" from Plaxo. I want Plaxo to work like before, as an address book. If I want useless information overload, I sign in to Facebook.

  4. I cancelled my Plaxo account, and the contacts I had on Plaxo were STILL getting access to my feeds to my Plaxo Pulse feeds!! I contacted their customer service, which was completely useless. So I figure my contacts are still getting the feeds even though I cancelled my Plaxo account months ago!!

    So yeah, I hate Plaxo Pulse too. It's not a richer, more interactive experience, it's them trying to be something they are not. They should have stuck to being an address book.

    Since then I have switched to UNYK. Simpler interface, no spam, and no Pulse!!

  5. Very interesting topic. Do you maybe want to to a podcast on it? Be a guest on one?

  6. Hello Sebastian,

    you are very welcome to contact me for a podcast interview.



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