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. icon
    Mike (profile), 6 Jul 2005 @ 11:36pm

    Re: Getting the facts correct about Plaxo and AOL

    But I also want to make sure it is clear that when someone sends you an update request, they have done this manually. They've used Plaxo to select who they wish to a message to, decided what information of their own they wish to send to you (as a v-card attachment), and personalize the message they send. We do provide some default text the member may choose to use, but the member can personalize the text to their own preference if they wish. Members are encouraged to personalize their message. The message is then sent through our service and processed before being delivered.

    Hi Stacy... I know you've made this point a few times, but I think all of us who feel overwhelmed with Plaxo messages find it to be a bit of a ridiculous claim.

    I have never... not once... received a Plaxo spam that was personalized in anyway. Also, since I manage a few email lists, I get a ton of Plaxo messages from subscribers to those lists, which suggests that plenty of people just automatically send out their Plaxo messages to all users.

    You may blame your users for that, but from the recipient side, it certainly makes it feel like Plaxo makes it way too easy for them to spam everyone in their address book.

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