"Oh no, not another online network to join and maintain!" That's what I thought last week when I got an invite to join Plaxo Pulse. Plaxo's been around a long, long time as a contact management app. Now it's getting into social networking as well.
But I gave in and accepted the invitation because it came from someone I really want to keep in touch with. I didn't intend to go much further with it. But then it showed me a bunch of familiar names and asked whether I wanted to connect with these people, too (how did it know that I knew them?). Before I knew it, I was sending out connection invites left and right.
One cool thing about Plaxo is that you can classify your relationships within it as Business, Friend, or Family. So, ostensibly, I can show my home address and phone number to Great Aunt Joyce in Evansville but hide it from the people I don't want calling me at home.
Also, the Plaxo home page enables people to send out status reports (a la Twitter), notify people when you've put up a new blog post, put your calendar online, and share your favorite photos, links, and video. You can even poll your network (although what about, I'm not yet sure).
So resist the urge to recoil in horror at the thought of joining another network. This one looks cool.