In the plethora of social networking apps, the question of what is Plaxo Software's niche is a tricky one. While at first glance it may seem like just another latecomer to the social networking spectrum, there are aspects of Plaxo that make it stand out from the herd.
What Is Plaxo Software, Anyway?
Like many other software services, such as Google and Yahoo, Plaxo does serve as a contact list. It's a sort of online address book, as well as a social calendar that is accessible online. However, Plaxo also has a higher purpose, of sorts.
One of the difficulties that people have in the information age is finding ways to keep all of their online and offline information in sync. When at their desk, they may add new contact information to their address book. However, while away from their desk, their handheld device may not have the same contact information. When on the road, they may enter in a calendar contact, and then forget to re-connect their handheld to the computer in order to update the contact list.
These disconnects cause all sorts of duplicate, or worse, lost entries. This leads to being late for appointments or not having the right information at the right time, which is the whole point of having handhelds and computers in the first place. Plaxo serves to bridge that gap by being a connecting point for all of those devices and services. It connects to your computer, your handheld, your cell phone, and to other services such as Google, Yahoo, Microsoft Enterprise Server and Apple's Mobile Me. While you do need to take some time setting up these services, once they are set up, a change made to one is reflected in all of them - and that saves time, effort, and frustration.
You Can't Beat Free
While it offers a "premium" service, the core services of Plaxo are free, and there's no need to pay anything in order to take advantage of all the features already described. And while some people may be wondering if Plaxo is safe, the reality is that many major companies use the services, and are happy with the very stringent data protection techniques the company uses. Part of the security is keeping you in control of who sees the data. You choose what kind of information other people in your contacts list see, and also whether they see it at all. Plaxo combines state-of-the-art security with having all the information at your fingertips, wherever you are - through mobile technology or just from a web browser.
In addition to convenience, the Plaxo service also provides security and peace of mind. In a worst-case scenario, where your computer and all of your portable devices and even backup drives were destroyed, Plaxo has all your contacts, your calendar, and whatever other information you chose to share with it, backed up. This has the significant added bonus of making it very easy to restore that data to your replacement devices.With a contact and calendar database, an up-to-date social network, and secure backup - Plaxo is a useful addition to any social networking toolbox.