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Plaxo was one of the first companies to offer a unified online address book that connected to and synchronized with all the different address books people use to store contact info: email clients, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. More recently, however, many innovative “social CRM” competitors have moved into the address book space, like Gist, Connected and Soocial, while Plaxo tinkered with a social networking product called Pulse. The company has announced that it’s refocusing on its address book product, and has released the Plaxo Personal Assistant, a new service that intelligently makes automatic updates to the Plaxo address book to keep contact information relevant and current.
The Personal Assistant is an add-on service that can:
- Intelligently update inaccurate info. It recognizes outdated contact info, intelligently sources updates, and recommends changes.
- Complete missing details. It can assist in identifying partial entries and proactively locating current information to fill any gaps.
- Cleans duplicate entries. It merges contact info between corresponding entries and removes duplicates to help organize your address book.
The product also includes access to change tracking and 24/7 support.
That all sounds pretty useful, but the new service is not particularly cheap: it costs an additional $79.95 per year (the basic Plaxo service itself is free). You should also note that in order for the Personal Assistant to work its magic, it will need process your contact data, which may make some folks uncomfortable; you can view Plaxo’s data usage policy here.