Thursday, February 19, 2009

Plaxo Pulse as a Coming Blockbuster Social Networking Appplication plus Career Opportunity and Job Search Connector

Looking to connect with people you know, knew or would like to know? At a grownup and/or professional level? Or how about alerting everyone in your firm or company or organizational community, committee or team, etc. - immediately - where you will be, e.g., on job location the next two weeks. Plaxo updates such information immediately for everyone in the Plaxo communities that you create - and it can be synchronized with applications such as Twitter.

You may not yet have heard of Plaxo or Plaxo Pulse, a serious social networking application for grownups, but you will in the future. We just joined it, and it is really terrific. It is sort of an online do-everything social contact network for adults viz. grownups (especially post-college professionals) which can also be synchronized with other applications. Plaxo is yet another eyeopening creation out of Silicon Valley and the unending stream of young talents out of Stanford University. As we read at the Plaxo Blog just yesterday, February 198, 2009:

"This is a great time at Plaxo. In 2008, we had triple-digit growth in all of our key metrics, including new users, monthly unique visitors, and pageviews. We increased our network density, with the number of connections in our next-generation social network skyrocketing from 2 million to over 30 million. We got acquired by a stable, profitable, and growing company, while remaining an independent business unit, resourced for growth. (We’re hiring.) And, we’re making great progress at becoming a vital social utility for one of the most valuable demographics: post-college professionals.

But, of course, we are well aware that most companies out there are in a different position, and that our members are confronting a deepening recession, rising unemployment, and decreasing job security. It is that sobering reality that inspired us to come up with a better way to connect job seekers with career opportunities, working together with Simply Hired, the largest job search engine, to introduce "social job listings" on Plaxo.

For users in the U.S., we’ve rolled out a new Jobs section on Plaxo, where hiring managers and recruiters can post new job listings, and where job seekers can browse or search postings from across the Simply Hired network. But jobs posted on Plaxo aren’t like job listings anywhere else; job listings on Plaxo are turbo-charged with the “social power” of your extended network.

TechITeasy writes:

"For a long time, Plaxo was to me just an address book on the web. So, I was really surprised when I decided to check out Plaxo’s Pulse. Plaxo Pulse could be summed up as hybrid of Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, but this comparison isn’t fair as Pulse seems to have taken the best features of each and quite successfully in a technical sense but as we’ll see later, hasn’t gathered the momentum these three have....

Pulse is probably best summed up by my friend who originally invited me to join: “[It's a] new social network, and it is more open and for more grown-up people than Facebook”.

As written at the Wikipedia about Plaxo:

"On August 4, 2007 Plaxo announced the public beta of a social networking service called Plaxo Pulse. The service enables sharing of content from multiple different sources across the social web, including blogs, photos, social networking services, rating services, and others. Users can selectively share and view content according to either pre-determined categories (e.g. friends, family, business network) or customized groups. Plaxo Pulse was the first site to feature a working version of an OpenSocial container."

Plaxo was started by a former Internet visionary, Sean Parker, co-founder of Napster, and some younger Stanford brains, as found described at the Wikipedia:

"Plaxo is an online address book and social networking service founded by Napster co-founder Sean Parker, Minh Nguyen and two Stanford engineering students, Todd Masonis and Cameron Ring. Plaxo, based in Mountain View, California, is currently privately held and supported by venture capital including funds from Sequoia Capital.[1] On May 14, 2008, Plaxo reported it had signed an agreement to be acquired by Comcast.[2] Plaxo did not disclose the terms of the deal.[3] In May 2008, the website reported 20 million users. [4]

Plaxo provides automatic updating of contact information. Users and their contacts store their information on Plaxo's servers. When this information is edited by the user, the changes appear in the address books of all those who listed the account changer in their own books. Once contacts are stored in the central location, it is possible to list connections between contacts and access the address book from anywhere.

A Plaxo plug-in supports major address books including Outlook/Outlook Express, Mozilla Thunderbird, and Mac OS X's Address Book, though other ones can be supported through an application programming interface. Additionally, Plaxo can also be maintained through an online version.

It is just a very quick way to keep up with what a given community is doing and to sustain running conversations and provide essential information easily and quicky online to others. Moreover, under the principle that no one is removed by more than six connections from anyone else in the modern world, once several connections have been established and various other personal parameters have been entered into the requisite profile, Plaxo suggests new connections from its corpus of data, appending a photograph of each person if such a photograph has been uploaded.

For example, as a graduate of Stanford Law School in 1971 I entered that school as my educational background and Plaxo then suggested possible connections from their list of Stanford Law School graduates.

It all works smoothly like clockwork.

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