As I walked out of my last final exam ever today the Columbia campus was absolutely beautiful. This winter seemed longer than most, but we're being rewarded with a spectacular spring. It's hard to believe two years of graduate school went by so quickly, but I'm not sure I'd be eager to go back to the beginning, either. It was a good run, but it's getting time to move on.
Since I'm leaving school in a couple of weeks, it seemed like an important time to update my much-neglected address book before I lose touch with friends from school. Having seen a few friends using it, I tried out Plaxo, a plug-in to Outlook that provides a terrific service -- helping you maintain your contact list and automatically transmit updates of contact information between you and your friends.
I had my doubts, but a week later 90% of the 150 or so folks I sent Plaxo update requests to have updated their contact information in my address book, with almost no manual intervention from me at all. Better yet, Plaxo is an "old-school" dot-com trying to get to a certain network size and then profit off providing the service to corporations. So there's no advertising. (I wouldn't have used it if it had any advertising or spyware involved.) Way to take the high road, Plaxo.
It's about time that the old-fashioned address book moved into the networked age. There's no reason we should still be manually communicating our contact info to the people we want to stay in touch with.
Follow-Up: Plaxo is not without its detractors. Still, I stand by my assessment. Much like Google, they seem to have understood the idea of "don't be evil."