Tag Archives: plaxo

Facebook, Google And Plaxo Join The DataPortability Workgroup

Dataportability

Forget Open social, this is huge! This a huge win for interoperability, portability and fair use. Chris told me a while ago but promised to say nothing till now. It also shows how much influence characters like scoble have, but I'm sure these companies were looking at Data portability long before scobles account got suspended.

After publishing an invitation to Facebook to join the DataPortability Working Group January 4, we never thought that Facebook would accept it. Today changes everything you’ve ever thought about social-networking data and lock-in before, because today Facebook, Google and Plaxo have joined the DataPortability Workgroup.

Google and Plaxo joining are a positive, however given that both have previously joined together for platforms such as OpenSocial it’s not that significant, but Facebook is another matter. On January 4 Michael sort of defended Facebook’s stance against Plaxo pulling data from Facebook on the grounds that “Facebook also has a very good reason for protecting email addresses – user privacy.” Today, by joining the DataPortability Working Group Facebook is embracing open standards and open access, and that is a huge fundamental change from its previous stance on being locked in to closed standards.

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Dopplr now supports Microformats import for contacts…

…but wheres the FOAF? via the Dopplr blog

If you’d like to try importing from GMail, Twitter, a local vCard file or using a contact list from a site supporting the HCard/XFN microformats, please try out these new capabilities and send us feedback.

Plaxo support would be nice but at least I can export everything out of Plaxo as Vcard and other formats.

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Even more complicated Calendaring setup

Calendar setup as of November 2006

Hey and you thought my last calendar setup was crazy enough. Think again, welcome to the world where 2 mobile devices, 3 computers and 3 services isn't that hard to imagine. Well welcome to my insane syncing setup for calendars, contacts and tasks. No wonder it gets so messed up without too much effort. I've also included the SVG from Inkscape if you want a better quality version.

So starting from the mobile phone (SPV M600) its got a few things on it now. I'm using the Funambol Sync plugin with Schedule world but I can't seem to get it working all the time. So I've also stuck WebIS Mobilesync on there too which I have a 30 day trial of. This sync's directly with Plaxo which does away with my problems with Activesync not syncing. I say not syncing but actually it does sync with my computer at home nicely but not my computer at work. I would also sync with my laptop but someone at Microsoft decided that syncing with 2 machines would be all anyone would need. So now on to my other mobile phone (Nokia N80). Its my work phone but I still want it to fit in the sync system otherwise theres little point in having it. So Nokia has its own communication suite which actually isn't that bad. Its bulky yes and a hog on memory but consistently works unlike Activesync. So at the moment the suite is installed on my desktop machines at work and home but I only sync at work (only got one sync cable right now, and simply can't be bothered to take it out everyday). At some point I will start syncing on both machines. I've attempted to use the build in SyncML client to talk to schedule world too but failed so far.

So the biggest addition to my sync setup is ScheduleWorld. Its basically a Funambol server with lots of custom code to keep it working and running as a service. Ideally it could be thought of as the more open source version of Plaxo as it supports everything Plaxo does and even more. It supports contacts, notes and calendaring. Its web calendar is not as nice as google calendar but is reasonable. It also has a Google Calendar Sync link built in and supports SyncML. So I would like to one day replace Plaxo with Schedule World but its still quite some time off. For example the SyncML client on Windows Mobile 5 uses Visual Basic and so requires another download to work correctly. This is a pain because Windows Mobile 5 is pretty much all written with the compact .Net framework. Yes this is not schedule worlds fault and some would say Microsoft should build SyncML into its Mobile Operating system. And I would agree but its a pain none the less. Another flaky thing is the Outlook plugins. They seem to crash a lot, so its not reliable for everyday use. This is why Plaxo is still number one for daily syncing. Once you get stuff into Schedule world its easy to get things back out again. It also makes available everything using the SyncML API and I think it supports ATOM too. Plaxo does have an API but its no where near as open as Schedule World. So yeah Plaxo do hold your data hostage from yourself.

So going forward I would switch to using Schedule world or something similar if the plugins for outlook were more stable. I would even settle for no Activesync if the Windows Mobile 5 plugin was better developed. I'm also holding out some kind of hope that I will get the SyncML client working with the Nokia. I don't think I've spent nearly enough time looking into that issue.

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Calendaring, oh the fun…

This is a post while listing to the Inside the net podcast titled Calendar Swamp. Leo and Amber interview Scott Mace about the current state of Calendaring and more importantly will we ever get close to interoperability.

So generally Scott offerss some useful tips but doesn't quite have the ideal solution quite yet. Now I'm not saying I do either but I thought I'd outline my current setup which is messy but kinda works.

My calendaring setup

So generally I use Plaxo to sync between all my outlook running machines. It does a good job if you disable some of the things which could be seen as spyware. I also run Thuderbird for my email and have the Thunderbird Plaxo extension simply so my Thunderbird address book is pretty up to date. But I don't sync Thunderbird that much, unlike my outlooks which I sync pretty much everyday for all my contacts, calendar, tasks and notes. I'm still using the free version of Plaxo but I'm going to try the paid for version to see how I like it. The Mobile phone syncs with the desktop PC via Activesync. If Activesync would sync with more than two computers, I would sync it with my laptop which I have done in the past. You will also notice I'm now using Outlook 2007 beta on my laptop, mainly to test the iCalendar, which at the moment I'm not impressed with at all. I did for a while have the Mozilla Sunbird application running and connected to Google Calendar but I didn't use it enought really. The last thing about my arrangment is WebIS mobile sync which is a Windows Mobile Application which syncs directly with Plaxo. Its not free and only syncs contacts at the moment but there waiting for Plaxo to open up the calendar, tasks, etc api's then the price will jump from 12 dollars to 20 dollars. So I'm going to try it out for 30days and maybe disable contacts activesync's contact ability.

So its not a bad setup and things do work but I want to say I've not found a way to fit in Eventful and Upcoming yet. I'm also interested to see how Google calendar does against 30boxes and the new Plaxo web calendar.

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Geek and Geekhag podcast number 9 – Hate crimes and We Media

Digital Assassins

Me and Sarah discuss a few things in this 1 hour podcast. I'm hoping to expand on these subjects in further entries but for now here's the basic outline.

So first up me and Sarah recieved some Racist and Homophobic propaganda/mail yesterday (3rd May), you can catch the complete image here and close up's here. Sarahs done a really good job of covering this one in the podcast and her blog entry so I'll simply point there instead.

Then we talk about the We Media and We Media Fringe events. I spend quite a lot of time on the digital assassins section of the event and I'll write up a full account of my experience soon. Oh by the way don't miss Suw's Why We Media sucked talk recored by James Cox. James also filmed a whole load of other really interesting stuff before the Digital Assassins session and afterwards at the Wemedia fringe event.

Then finally we finish with Sarah talking about her painful experience with Plaxo and we touch on Calendaring. I expect Calendaring will pop up again in the next podcast because theres tons to be said about this.

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