Monday, September 10, 2007

Facebook + LinkedIn + Plaxo + DayLite = Dreaming

I've been casually following the Scoble/boyd debate about Facebook (FB), privacy, and why tech insiders are responding so rabidly to FB.

Distillation:
boyd: "But what I don’t understand is why so much of the tech crowd who lament Walled Gardens worship Facebook.”

Scoble response: "Because there isn’t anything better. It’s like why we are so gaga over the iPhone. The iPhone is locked up tight and doesn’t let us play. But it is so superior to the alternatives that we’ll put up with all the walls."
What I really want is something more and different. I find FB tiresome and banal (maybe that's just my friends . . . but I am linked to Scoble). I find LinkedIn overly restrictive. What I want is something that will allow me to flexibly annotate in private my own take on my network of contacts--how they relate to each other etc.--regardless of whether the contact is in the network or not and have it update and sync with those contacts who are in the network. In other words, I'd love to have a LinkedIn like system in which I can keep track of my business connections and other people's business connections, but add into it my own data, my own connections whether they're on the network or not. This would be like a personal CRM system (Customer Relationship Managment, like the wonderful DayLite) that's connected into the broader world. Plaxo sort of does this, by allowing you to sync up all your own contact data, and if a person is on the Plaxo network (or other networks like LinkedIn) connect also with that live contact data. But what Plaxo needs is the greater toolset of a CRM (connecting contacts to companies, to projects, to opportunities and tracking historical relationships), the business orientation of LinkedIn and the open source elements of FB. I guess I'm dreaming . . .
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