I think on a weekly basis I complain about how awful the internet experience has become when you have to register for nearly everything these days — even at times to rate a video you just viewed on a site you’re probably only going to visit once because a friend sent you the URL! I can’t count the number of times I’ve just closed the window in frustration.
Life would be so much easier if you could get away with using a single password for all of your sites — but we should all understand the dangers in doing so. Many sites do not encrypt your password in the database field, and administrators of forums, blogs and pretty much nearly every site have access to view your username, email address and password. All they’d need to do is try the same information on more secure web sites and they now have access to things they shouldn’t. Scary stuff – which is why I always make my passwords unique, and try not to make them slight variations. This is why it’s so difficult to keep track of the many sites we register today, and why it’s such a painful and unforgiving experience.
So – of course I am registered with many sites… from LinkedIn and Plaxo to Facebook and MySpace. I started using Plaxo years ago when it first came around and thought it was an awesome invention. I was able to keep up with co-workers (current and former). Then came LinkedIn, and I left Plaxo behind. It was a surprising split for quite some time, where some of my co-workers that I’d invite to try out LinkedIn, said they preferred Plaxo – but they had no idea what LinkedIn was all about. I finally kept bugging them to try LinkedIn, and now there are only a few co-workers who still use Plaxo, and most others are now using LinkedIn to manage their contacts.
Plaxo was very much a thing of the past for me. It reminds me of my days using Webcrawler [look back] as my search engine in? ’91 or so? until I met Yahoo and Google Yesterday, a friend and I were joking about how many different mediums there are these days that you need to keep track of for managing contacts and even friends. You have Outlook, LinkedIn, Instant Messengers, Home Email, PDAs/Mobile Phones, Business Cards, MySpace and Facebook just to name a few. While we were chatting, he mentioned that Plaxo has wised up and is helping you aggregate this information from other sites and applications you use… they are calling it Plaxo 3.0 and Plaxo Pulse. It supports Outlook contacts, LinkedIn, Google Calendars (Gmail contact sync coming), Yahoo address and calendars, Flickr, YouTube, etc. Check out the Plaxo video tour on YouTube (gasp, just don’t try to rate the video or you’ll have to register!)
So, it looks like Plaxo has taken it upon themselves to make an effort to clean up the mess all of us web site creators are making =) I am now off to try to find my password for Flixter, since apparently someone I don’t know just sent me a message and I’ve only logged in once.// Jacob