Email and social networking schizophrenia

In receiving another invite from a colleague on Plaxo I wondered if anyone else had the frustration that comes from too many digital persona’s….

In summary, there are too many email addresses (work, home – via blog name, new service provider, old service provider, old company, new mobile phone company, Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail etc etc….).

So what I’d like is a service that redirects ( like the Post Office for physical mail) but kills any spam, and provides my contacts with updates. Plaxo kind of meets the bill but the key is less about the web based services (that can be partially fixed by just using your email client), and more about the fixed emails with internet service providers that you cut off when you change provider. Potentially a service could be created that forwards the mail to an address you nominate, provides an auto update service to contacts that you have provided, and halts some of the dead traffic currently hitting ISP’s. Sounds good for all parties…

Social and online profile information is another area – in creating and managing your own digital brand, there is a bit of work to do if you use a couple of areas eg your blog, Facebook, Linked In, Plaxo, Myspace etc etc. Whilst it will take some time for the smoke to clear and rationalization to occur in this area, mashing up a consistent means of keeping digital profiles consistent will help. Likely scenario? 1. Lots of half started blogs, profiles and more, and 2. a select few will emerge that just seem easier than others to keep current – and make it more fun to keep current and up to date.

Whilst I’m on the wish list, I’d love an easy way to consistently sync my work and home tasks, contacts and calender with my mobile – current technology mix is Outlook on Windows at work, Mac at home and Windows Mobile (dopod) pda to give me the choice of using which machine I want to anytime I want and keeping it all current. Publishing calenders is one way… but will do some searching on this to see what I can find.

For you road warriors out there, let me know what is working for you…

12 thoughts on “Email and social networking schizophrenia”

  1. Justin, regarding your email question, I’ve taken to using a single Gmail account as my backend mailbox, and forward all of my front end email accounts to it (and yes, I have too many of these). So there is only 1 mailbox (and Gmail has good junk mail filtering).
    I suspect the problem of syncing address books, appointments and tasks is a moder day travelling salesman problem – looks like it should be easy, but isn’t.
    Have you tried Highrise (from 37Signals) yet? Worth a look – a syncing solution with via the API would go a long way to nailing most of this.

  2. Exactly what I was thinking.

    Maybe it’s time to reread Stephen Covey and figure out which are the big rocks.

    In the meantime here are two more sites to stop your schizoid friends from getting lonely.

    http://www.spock.com

    This one is attempting to do what you want with managing your online brand, but it’s kind of spooky. It asks for all your other social network login details so it can collate all your info.

    http://www.gooruze.com (stared by some pretty young things here in Perth.) One wag called it “crack for online marketers.”

    I don’t think he was too far off the mark.

  3. I’m not schizoid am I?
    Yes you are.
    No I’m not
    Yes, but I am.
    Who are you?
    I’m your friend.
    Which friend?
    I’m the one that lives with all your other friends, deep inside the earth!

  4. Nice post. The new and improved Plaxo was supposed to do all of this, but when I went to look at the Youtube presentation on this, it fell far short of what I was hoping for: http://www.plaxo.com/. Great on concept, quite a ways to go on delivery. Maybe Microsoft or Newscorp will sort all this out when they buy Yahoo.

    Things I’m really liking at the moment:
    1. Using gmail as my primary mail client for everything and allowing web based access from anywhere (also has great search for your history of items if your backups go awry)

    2. The nice thin little app which allows me to access my Gmail from my Nokia phone while taking up nearly no bandwidth – result – email on the go for $5 a month and I pull it when I want it rather than it interupting me or paying a fortune for blackberry client. (Steven Covey would be proud)

    3. The RSS feed on the Google Desktop sidebar which gives me real(ish) time updates on everyone’s blog posts (I’ve got this displaying on my laptop monitor while I use the main screen for work).

    Hmm, all of these things are Google products. Coincidence?

    The thing that worries me about all these apps is privacy, particularly when giving out passwords. Identity theft is so easy these days… in fact I am no longer me, I am you and enjoying the use of your credit card. Thanks!!

  5. Thank for the comments. Glenn, I’ve given Highrise a look, and Todd I’ve grabbed the obligatory Gmail, plus having the resources of Mediatemple at my fingertips.

    Also worth taking a look at Zoho – there are some seriously good web based apps there including Google equivilent plus crm plus project plus plus plus…

    Thanks again…

    Justin

  6. I’ve tried using Plaxo 3.0 and it’s a very good app when you want to run a calendar at work and also at a place of work. Unfortunately the plaxo pulse bit seems to leave a bit to be desired. I was hoping for some sort of RSS type thing which brought all my friends blogs, photos and other content to a single page. This was the promise but I can’t see an easy way to set it up. Anyone ahead of me here?

  7. Justin
    So true, so true. I’ve gone with gmail and all (about 8) email addresses are re-directed there. I’m slowly migrating everything to come from gmail, except my corporate email address.
    I’m hoping Google will become MS but more friendly. (You know how I love my Mac.) I used to use Plaxo and would try it again but my strategy wit gmail is going okay … so far.
    I remember back in the Dot Com days of aggregation and how it really was the pinnacle of online usability. Maybe we think we want it but the issues of privacy still bother us.

    @Justin’s brother: I get Gmail on my nokia N95 for free. well, I think I do, I’ll check my next bill. 🙂

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