Cabling together the Social Web — that’s Plaxtastic

by carterfsmith on 05/14/2008

Whenever technology advances to the point of usefulness, it’s usually because someone found a great fit between two or more previously independent offerings. In techspeak, this has been referred to as a Mashup (adapted from the music industry).

Well, join me in welcoming the latest Mashup — between Internet delivery, Telecommunications, Television, Videos, and the social web (and much more, I suspect).

TechCrunch just confirmed the acquisition of Plaxo, a six year old company, by Comcast, a 45 year old company.

Comcast will announce their acquisition of social contact list Plaxo today. Financial terms are not being disclosed, but the rumored purchase price is in the $175 million range.

I’m thinking the next Mashup announcement will be that Open Social (Plaxo is in) will be incorporated into next-generation set-top boxes . . . and we’ll be surfing the social web (again — remember WebTV, it looks to be a Microsoft product now) with a remote (and that’s only the beginning).

Imagine yourself in the couch potato position with your remote and in the corner of your wide screen you get a transparent pop up message from one of your Plaxo contacts wishing you happy birthday. You respond with a thank you, and he notes that you recently posted your status indicating you were en route to a celebration dinner.

He confirms the open invite, and while you are on the way, you get a text message on your mobile that indicates the room you had reserved has been upgraded due to an additional twelve guests (pending your approval). You confirm, and hit the record video button on the dash of your car (probably a Ford, using Microsoft Sync and a Live Mesh application) and record a video greeting that your guests see as they arrive.

I honestly didn’t expect The Emergence of The Relationship Economy would be this imminent . . . (you can download the e-book for free here)

What do you think!


George Bigger May 16, 2008 at 11:03 am

Imminent was yesterday!
By the time I write this, something will have happened that is just beyond my vision, perception, and control. Someone else (perhaps several ‘some ones’), somewhere, will have drawn the same conclusions and voiced similar opinions to what I may be about to think, write, and speak. The universe works that way passing energy along as light, sound, inspiration, ingenuity, change – 24/7.

And here I am foolishly willing to stake my own claim to an ‘original’ comment on a website to get in “the last word”,
– Yeah Right!

Now if only my (our) comments were better cataloged in a relational data structure and better presented to me (mash-up portal?) so that I could more seamlessly ‘relate’ to those from whom I am only for the moment – ‘unrelated’.

“Who knows”… (that comment could describe the process, benefit, and even the ‘portal’ name, but I bet someone, somewhere, already thought of that…)

Ed Dodds May 16, 2008 at 6:13 am

I’ve often thought that the United Way ought to have approached Plaxo to offer a private branded version of Plaxo to the US’ 1.5 million nonprofits who all pay some mailing house or the USPS to de-dup all those newsletter street address corrections. How much more efficient (less redundant) and how much less wasteful of NPO/NGO funds to let the community update their own data once and for all. They also could have launched an “open” version — except that NGO|NPOs are all so paranoid about intrusion into their donor base. What they haven’t figured out is that once the public figures out there is such a high degree of redundancy in the NGO|NPO world, the sector is going to undergo the consolidation every other sector is facing — especially now that they can pretty much be reduced to bank accounts and workers on the street who could be enabled by “one big database in the sky” collaborative tools.

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