AOL To Integrate Plaxo -- Get Ready For Plaxo Spam Influx

from the oh-great dept

Uh oh. For those who remember, the September that never ended was when AOL users were suddenly let loose on Usenet, and what was once useful, was filled with a ton of somewhat clueless posters who made it difficult to filter through the muck. Today, AOL announced plans to integrate Plaxo's tools into AIM. Considering the amount of Plaxo spam that already is out there, do we really need to make it even easier to bug people every few months about their contact info? Almost all of the Plaxo spam I receive is from people I do not know. I don't know why I'm in their address book -- and I don't know why they've told Plaxo they know me. So, do we really need millions of AOL users who don't quite realize that they're about to spam everyone they ever spoke to, and handing them a tool to do so? Update: A Plaxo representative has given an in-depth rebuttal in the comments that's worth reading. I still find the claim that you only get spammed if you're a "non-Plaxo member" to be a bit disingenuous. It's telling me if I only signed up, I'd avoid these messages. However, the other points made are certainly valid, and clearly Plaxo is making a big effort to deal with some of the early complaints about the service. The note also points out that (thankfully!) part of the AOL agreement is that the initial process of spamming everyone you know has been removed from the startup wizard -- so hopefully the results won't be quite so annoying for those of us who prefer not to use their service.

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  1. identicon
    Stacy Martin, 8 Jul 2005 @ 9:21pm

    Re: Getting the facts correct about Plaxo and AOL

    Steevo - I agree that it would not be wise to simply plop Plaxo into a million people's lap without proper notification and consent. This is not the intention.

    Both Plaxo and AIM/AOL will be able to be used independently. But AIM and AOL users will also have the option of using the AOL Universal Address Book powered by Plaxo. If the user wishes to take advantage of this feature, they will need to sign-up with Plaxo similarly to how a person currently registers with Plaxo today.

    And no, there are no plans to add a new feature to "just click here" to notify everyone about your new email. As I mentioned earlier, the Update Contact Wizard will also be removed from the initial flow since much of people's addressbooks will be able to be updated automatically through Plaxo Network.

    Once registered, members won't have to perform any manual updating or send out messages. Members will simply need to manage their own identify and decide who and how they wish to share their own information with others.

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