Plaxo: The New Napster

Sean Parker is at it again. This time it's not about the sharing of music but the sharing of contact info. I think it is a very cool tool. Here's how it works:

A Plaxo user sends plain-text e-mails to friends and colleagues requesting contact information updates. Recipients can reply to the request by updating their info in the template provided or by e-mailing free-form text, which Plaxo parses using natural language processing technology. It integrates seamlessly with Outlook.

Eventually everyone has the software and whenever you update your contact info, it is automatically updated to everyone in your contact list.

Sure it's beta and there are bugs. Also, I'm sure some people will hate getting requests to update their contact info.

There has to be some big brother marketing scenario to this down the road though:-)

Story on Wired:

Wired News: Napster Co-Founder's New Venture

by Steve Hall    Nov-12-02    

The Waste That AOL Creates

You've received one right? Oh no, not one, you say? But 10, 20, 50? You know what I'm talking about. Those AOL discs that come packaged in everything from magazines to Sunday newspapers to grocery store bags.

Well, someone is now trying to collect all that waste:

AOL Discs Returned to Sender

The two Californian men who kicked off the campaign have now gathered more than 80,000 of the promotional discs.

The campaign is intended to tell the company about the damage the discs do to the environment when discarded, and shame it into curbing its zealous promotional efforts.

Thank God. Space is running out on my daughter's ceiling!

by Steve Hall    Nov-12-02    

The Economics of Squad Car Advertising

There has been at least one story every day for the past three weeks about police car advertising. Government Acquisitions, the North Carolina based company offers to provide a fully functional squad car to municipalities for $1. In today's economy, that is practically impossible to turn down.

Personally, as an ad medium, I am against it. It is like ads in the high school yearbook or ads in a church membership directory. Some things should remain adfree. While I see the economics of it, it just doesn't fit even in this fast moving world of commercialism.

Having said that, it all depends of the execution of this program. Are the cars going to look like Indy 500 Logomobiles or are they going to be selective and tasteful in approach. Time will tell.

Many police departments will give it chance. The trouble is, it will be near impossible for departments to stop once they start as the squad car money will have reallocated or cut from the budget. Very careful and clear thinking needs to go into this before a move is made.

Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter - Officials ponder advertising on squad cars

Government Acquisitions, Inc., a North Carolina-based company, is offering to lease new squad cars to municipalities for $1 a year in exchange for allowing companies, such as McDonalds, to place their logos or ads on the squads.


by Steve Hall    Nov-12-02    

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