Ever since I joined Plaxo, there’s one feature that I’ve been asked for more than any other – a way to bridge between the two separate, but complementary worlds of Plaxo and LinkedIn. The requests have come from conversations with friends, from surveys of our members, and from posts and comments in the blogosphere, such as:
“LinkedIn and Plaxo should work together so that LinkedIn contacts are automatically sync’d to Plaxo, and then end-users could make use of Plaxo’s sync’ing services to synchronize contacts with desktop applications.”
(Full post here.)
We recently surveyed our members about what other services they use and which ones they’d like us to sync with. (Sync plays a central role in the upcoming Plaxo 3.0.) The response for LinkedIn was very clear. Over 20 percent of respondents indicated they were users of both services, and most of them said that they really wanted to be able to sync their LinkedIn contacts over to their Plaxo address book. It was also clear that this feature would be a natural fit for our Premium service bundle.
So, leveraging our soon-to-be released Plaxo 3.0 sync architecture, Joseph built LinkedIn Sync, and we made it a part of an all-new Plaxo Premium, which we are launching this week. If you’re already a Premium member, this is one of two* new features you can start using right away. If you’re not yet a Premium member, you can try it free for 30 days. Either way, the place to access it from is from the Toolbox on Plaxo Online (screenshot below):
I confess that LinkedIn Sync was also a feature that I pushed for (in part) because I really wanted it for myself. So, I could hardly wait to try it out. Here’s a screenshot from when I ran it. As you can see, it brought over all 118 of my Connections on LinkedIn, with 95 of those being new to my address book, and 23 of them already there (and correctly merged). Alternatively, I could have chosen to just have them all go into a separate folder.
Oh, yes. And I should probably point out that moments after these contacts showed up in my Plaxo online address book, they were also available in my Outlook e-mail client — and in my Yahoo! Mail account and my Gmail account! (See the “sync points” visible at the bottom of the screenshot.)
LinkedIn Sync is currently configured to be manually triggered, but an upcoming release will offer an automated option, as we put the finishing touches on our 3.0 sync backend. Of course, one can easily imagine all sorts of things that could be done to strengthen the integration between Plaxo and LinkedIn – or bridges that could be built to other business or social networking services.
What else would you like to see, in terms of LinkedIn and Plaxo? What other services would you like to see Plaxo sync with? Please let us know, either by posting a comment here or by sending me an e-mail directly to: john at plaxo dot com.
Okay, that’s all for now, but there’s a lot more on the way soon.
*The other new feature is an enhanced de-duper that Huy and Joseph built. Now it de-dupes address book and calendar.