Plaxo Update

I recently wrote how much I liked the new Plaxo, I’ve seen a lot of buzz about them recently too. most of it focused on the change to add Pulse and make it more ‘social’ which is good news for Plaxo and is an OK feature but I’ve got all that stuff coming to me in many forms already so going to another destination to see it is not something I’m going to do readily, and as pointed out in pretty much all the posts I’ve read so far is how slow the online site is.

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The flurry posts linked above all came (to my reader at least) on 25th June and it makes me smile seeing it spread over the bigger blogs, I’ve been using it for over a month now and have mixed feelings about it, I really want to like it as it fixes a very real problem for me, however there are problems with it that are almost making me remove it at this point.

The crucial thing for a sync tool, which is how I view it, is that it works reliably, I know through past experience that the odds of something going wrong increase exponentially as you add more sync points to the equation and maybe that’s where it’s all gone wrong, however it is supposed to be able to do it so it should !

I have Outlook 2007 as my ‘Master’ as it makes sense for me, at first the new toolbar worked fine putting up my contacts and calendar to the online version, then I got the new Mac toolbar and that worked too, finally I was happy since my Mac address book and Outlook one were in sync ( I don’t always run Outlook in case you are wondering)

Then I added Google to the mix, I really don’t know why other than to have the same address book and calendar everywhere I guess and since then I’ve had nothing but problems, I eventually mailed support from whom I’ve got a standard (uninstall/reinstall delete end point / recreate endpoint / turn off Anti Virus etc) kind of thing but nothing further, my XP installation hasn’t changed one bit in the time I’ve been using this and now I get a very helpful error message every time I try to sync with no easily understood way to see WHAT the error is…and I’ve had a dig through the file structure to try and find a log file of any kind to no avail

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But here’s the weird thing, I checked in the sync log online and some stuff is getting through and synced but not everything which is even more annoying than all or nothing….

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My major issues are that I keep getting duplicate contacts appear even after deleting them several times, in some cases 4 of them, in others I have a Plaxo member that shows up twice, once with a conflict and once without (one of the basic premises is that if your friends also use Plaxo you never have to update their details again)

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Then I noticed that in Google calendar I had EVERY entry EVER from my Outlook calendar under one day, several 100s events, there is no way I am going to manually delete them all for two reasons, it’ll take forever and for all I know it may delete the originals in my Outlook calendar! So I removed the end point, then it clicked, I hadn’t checked iCal, low and behold there they all are again, so I removed that calendar too. Now I can’t get it back no matter what I try….

Ironically this popup just appeared as I’m writing this …..(presumably as I loaded iCal to check it again)

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In fact I just realised there are a lot more problems than just this, I have duplicate recurring events that mean I have entries for people’s birthdays all over the place as both recurring all day events and timed events
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and can anyone spot the difference here…

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I think you get the point, it’s a total mess now and I haven’t even started on the problems with my phone and iSync and Entourage….I’m starting to think there are just too many services trying to sync with too many things..

The premise of the new Plaxo is fabulous but the possibilities of getting something wrong and then having it spread like a virus to all end points is too easy, in all this time I don’t recall being warned that I have 4 copies of the same contact, the Conflict that popped up just now is Apple iCal sync I think.

I’ve done this a few times and will no doubt have to do it again but I’m off to uninstall/delete everything, remove all sync end points, untick sync in Entourage, remove devices from iSync, spend a while sorting out a new master copy (or revert to the last one I made), and then maybe start again, maybe….
The only thing worse than not being able to sync lots of devices is having a partially working sync on lots of devices

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