Ben blogs about the Plaxo/AOL deal

July 6, 2005

Our CEO, Ben Golub, has just posted up a blog entry about the Plaxo + AOL deal we announced last night.

Here’s the most exciting part to me:

Plaxo’s long term business model benefits: Plaxo has always believed that there are a wide range of transactional, enterprise, and network services that we could provide when we had 50M members that we couldn’t provide when we had 5 M members. This should certainly help us on our way.

Hopefully, Plaxo will soon become the standard and everyone will always have updated contact information 🙂

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No Responses Yet to “Ben blogs about the Plaxo/AOL deal”

  1. Huey Says:

    That’s pretty exciting for Plaxo!

  2. Olaf Gradin Says:

    Standardization can only come with adoption. Plaxo will need to support more products than just Microsoft’s to get there. I’ve now left the Outlook front to go with Thunderbird. Since then, I’ve lost integration with Plaxo. I liked the product, but I will probably forget about it.


  3. Olaf – I agree. Part of our goal is to create interoperability between otherwise closed platforms and keeping your information available and synchronized with these other systems.

    Plaxo already provides the foundation to allow people to easily access their address book, calendar, notes, and task information directly from Outlook, Outlook Express, Yahoo!, Internet Explorer, (soon to be) AOL and AIM, any web browser, or WAP enabled device.

    Thunderbird, Mac OS X, ACT!, Incredimail, Lotus Notes, and Groupwise are a few of the most often requested clients, and while we are not making any promises or commitments at this time, I think it is safe to assume we are looking at a few of these very closely. Stay tuned.

  4. pampers fan Says:

    i got so excited i almost peed in my pants…

  5. moscon Says:

    Perhaps Plaxo can then invest in a spam blocker for their Blog comments. [see ben’s post/comments]

    Congrats on the merger!

  6. Adam Says:

    Hey Moscon, I’m on the Communications team at Plaxo, and I did indeed happen to catch that spam over the weekend and take care of it. We’ll be installing MT Blacklist shortly, which should take care of most of the stuff for the future.

    One important correction though: Plaxo and AOL didn’t merge… they’re just working together on a very useful project that’ll benefit members on both sides :). Both companies remain independent entities.

  7. Zoli Says:

    Too bad the plaxo blog is unavailable 😦

  8. Adam Says:

    We’re aware of the problem and are kicking the server ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H doing our best to get things back up quickly. Thanks for your patience.


  9. Mark,

    Congrats on the AOL deal. I figured something was up when Stacy used the word “presence” in a comment on my blog (only academics and people in/entering the IM business seem to use the word “presence” ;-).

    I agree with Ben that this could be the jumpstart you’ve been waiting for to grow that userbase and capitalize off the network effects of having 50m vs. 5m members.

    So, here are a few (of many) thoughts that came to mind after reading the announcement:

    1. Let’s assume (and hope!) that you’re wildly successful in this new partnership. You’re so successful that the integration between contact management and presence becomes a “must have” feature. MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger need to catch up. How is Plaxo positioning itself to be the platform they turn to rather than developing their own systems in-house or going somewhere else? (Note: platform, not company/vendor who will develop functionality for them)

    2. Does the Plaxo API provide all of the functionality necessary to do what Plaxo/AOL are about to do with presence? Will it? Why isn’t the API available for public download to really encourage development on your platform? Stacy mentioned all of the applications you’re considering building plugins for above. Is that model really sustainable vs. letting the Thunderbird, OS X communities develop their own plugins on your platform by providing a free, fully functional API and evangelizing development?

    Hope all is well — looking forward to your thoughts!
    – Adam

  10. markjen Says:

    Hi Adam – Sorry for not replying earlier 🙂

    1. That’s a very interesting possibility, but we’ll have to cross that bridge when we come to it 🙂 We may decide to build some of that integration ourselves through a plug-in; those other clients may approach us; we’re currently just focusing on the AOL integration deal (trust me, it’s more than a small chunk of work).

    2. To get AOL/AIM Presence, there are actually APIs available from AOL. If you search for AIM Presence, you should be able to find some sample code pretty quickly.

    As far as our API is concerned, we are still putting the finishing touches on it. A beta version of our open REST API is being used with our Thunderbird client, but there definitely some work we need to do on it before it’s ready to be developed against.

    The plan is definitely to release a full open API with a developer support community; it’s just going to take a little bit longer since we’re booked solid.

    Thanks for your inquiries!


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