opting out of Plaxo…

I would love to opt out of Plaxo, but i can’t. People send me Plaxo requests to *so* many email addresses. And i have zero desire to go through and do each one. Unlike Joi, my complaint is not about the amount of work i’m asked to do. Hell, every few months, i send a spam to my friends saying that i lost/broke some technology and need numbers again. (I actually have most people’s numbers, but this way i get updates, birthdays and catch people who don’t send me info in previous times.)

My complaint with Plaxo is multi-faceted. One branch of it comes down to a complete lack of trust. It’s not that i don’t think that the organization isn’t trying to be privacy-centric. It’s that i think that any mass collection of information is inherently vulnerable. Shall we talk subpoenas?

But, frankly, the main branch of my complaint comes down to the lack of intimacy. Almost everyone who has ever sent me a Plaxo request is someone that i barely know. They have my email address and they want everything else. Channeling a friend, i can’t help but scream in a British accent with an obscene gesture, “well, fuck off.” If i don’t recognize someone’s name, why should i give them stalker material? There are different emails for different purposes. For example, the word melopy is an anagram for employ. That’s the address for recruiters. If you only have that address, you have no right to more information.

Finally, there’s a respect issue. I *hate* mass emails, ad-hoc mailing lists (even when i guiltily create one once a year). Turn that behavior over to a company and i hate it ten times more. There’s nothing personal. And i have too much email as it is. I find it lacking all respect. I find it to be disrespectful of my time, my privacy, my attention and me as a person. Anyone who sends me a Plaxo request falls deep into my pit of disrespect because they’re not being considerate of me.

Of course, i’ve come up with my own solution for this. When i get a Plaxo request, i always go and update my information. I remove as much as possible. And i change my address to a personalized address that goes directly to /dev/null. If the person is particularly unfamiliar (i.e. the melopy people), i will give them something fun like webmaster@plaxo.com. This has dramatically reduced the number of Plaxo messages.

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2 thoughts on “opting out of Plaxo…

  1. Stacy Martin

    What you are doing is completely within your right and in some respect a benefit to participating in the Plaxo Network without even being a Plaxo member.

    The Update Request really serves multiple purposes. For one: It’s a clear indication of another person who DOES maintain at least your email address. It is beyond our service to explain how the person may have initially acquired your email information, but I’ve found there is typically some reasonable explanation. They have not acquired your email information from Plaxo.

    By sending you the Update Request, the member is allowing you to provide updated information of yourself and if you do not recognize the person, you could view your method as a way Plaxo provides you to protect your privacy. But hopefully for those people you do recognize, you respond accordingly :-).

    I’d also like to point out a few other ways we try to protect your privacy. If you don’t recognize the sender, by clicking on the OPT-OUT link included within the Update Request, we will try to provide you more information about the member than may be included in the email.

    You’ll be given the option to OPT-OUT from receiving further update requests from this SPECIFIC user or all Plaxo users.

    And we also provide you the ability to request additional information from the Plaxo member as to how they know you and why they wish to stay in touch. Of course, if you don’t like the response, you can still opt-out or respond to the update request as appropriate.

    Hope this helps,

    Stacy Martin
    Plaxo Privacy Officer
    smartin @t Plaxo.com

  2. yogo finklestien

    To: Stacy Martin/Plaxo Privacy Officer

    Can you expalin to me why after receiving a request to update my email info from a Plaxo user I am now receiving spam emails. One a day every day since the Plaxo users request. Haven’t had any spam in at least a year. I’m very, very “peeved” about this.

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