Google Calendar Sync locked my team out

My team can’t edit my Google Calendar anymore. Why? Because it says that it has been edited too many times by the syncing software I’m running (which is both Plaxo and Google’s own service). It was working perfectly until I added Google’s own syncing software. I’ve now changed the number of times that I’m going to sync to see if it lets my team members back onto my calendar. It still is letting me edit it, but Rocky hasn’t been able to edit it for the past day.

Anyway, be warned if you’re testing out syncing systems like Plaxo or Google’s.

UPDATE: A Google engineer wrote me and said that they don’t recommend using Google’s Calendar Sync with other sync systems like Plaxo.

Plaxo is better than new Google Calendar sync

Google just came out with a new sync system for Google Calendar. That’s pretty good. It will sync your calendar in Outlook up with your online calendar on Google.

But if you have Plaxo I don’t see what this brings you. Plaxo syncs with more systems, not just Outlook and Google (I use Plaxo on my Mac too, so my iPhone’s calendar is always sync’ed up with my Google Calendar and Outlook.

What do you think? Why aren’t you syncing your calendars?

Plaxo: the social monster?

Judi Sohn rips into the trustworthiness of both me and Plaxo for attempting to import email addresses, names, and birthdays.

First of all, just to make clear, I have NOT used any of the data I collected using Plaxo’s service. That all went into a separate test account and I’m not using that data and neither is Plaxo. Why not use it? Because of exactly the issues that Judi brings up. Trust.

Why do it? Well, I wanted to push Facebook’s buttons. I think it’s sad that they import email addresses and other data from Gmail and track my Blockbuster usage and use my adding my name to the Saturn page but they aren’t willing to share some of its data back out with these systems.

So, to Judi, why is it OK for Facebook to import all my Gmail email addresses? Why aren’t you screaming bloody murder about THAT? After all, did anyone on Gmail approve me to import their email addresses to Facebook?

On another similar, but tangental point.

What if I wrote down Judi’s email and then manually put it into my Outlook’s contact database. Wouldn’t that have been exactly the same thing that I tried to do with Plaxo’s script?

Second, if you add me as a friend I assume you want me to send you emails and interact with you. But, it’s clear that some of you didn’t really want me to do that when you added me as a friend. Maybe we need DRM for friends. Something with options like:

COMPLETELY OPEN: You’re allowed to take anything on my profile page and import it, use it, copy it, print it, import it.
EMAIL ONLY: You can only take my name, and email address to other systems.
EMAIL PLUS CORE PERSONAL INFO: In addition to email address and name you can also take my birthday and phone number to other systems.
CUSTOM: You choose which fields can be exported or used on other systems.
NAPKIN ONLY: You can use anything you want, but no automated systems, you’ve gotta manually copy everything over by hand.
PUBLIC ONLY: Only data that I put on my public profile can be used elsewhere.
FAN ONLY: I only wanted to see your social network and behaviors here, I don’t want to give you access to mine.

But, back to Judi: she asks what will Plaxo’s future owners do with the data it collects? Now THAT is a good question but I’m wondering the same thing about Facebook. Will they sell it to the government? Will they sell it to General Motors? Will they give it to their partners like Blockbuster?

EXCELLENT question!

The thing is, you shouldn’t worry too much about your friends. It’s easy to kick them in the butt if they sell you out. But what if Mark Zuckerberg sells you out? Or, even, decides to erase you for whatever reason he comes up with tomorrow? What then?

Oh, and to the few people who thought I had a financial arrangement with Plaxo, let me make this extremely clear: I disclose ALL financial arrangements with companies I use. I have NONE with Plaxo.

Is Plaxo a social monster for trying to import? That’s for you to decide, but why weren’t you all up in arms when Facebook imported your data and your friends email addresses from Gmail?

Naked Conversations 2.0: How Google is disrupting the social media starfish

When Shel Israel co-authored Naked Conversations with me we interviewed about 180 companies about how they were using blogs and how that usage was changing their business.

Today I’m watching companies and political candidates and seeing a new trend that I’ve written up as the “Social Media Starfish.” I just did two videos, one that defined the social media starfish and all of its “legs” and another that explains how Google is going to disrupt many pieces of that starfish tomorrow with its Open Social announcement tomorrow.

Some things in text. What are the legs of the social media starfish?

1. Blogs.
2. Photos. Flickr. Smugmug. Zooomr. Photobucket. Facebook. Et al.
3. Videos. YouTube. Kyte. Seesmic. Facebook. Blip. DivX. Etc.
4. Personal social networks. Facebook. BluePulse. MySpace. Hi5. Plaxo. LinkedIn. Bebo. Etc.
5. Events (face to face kind). Upcoming. Eventful. Zvents. Facebook. Meetup. Etc.
6. Email. Integration through Bacn.
7. White label social networks. Ning. Broadband Mechanics. Etc.
8. Wikis. Twiki. Wetpaint. PBWiki. Atlassian. SocialText. Etc.
9. Audio. Podcasting networks. BlogTalkRadio. Utterz. Twittergram. Etc.
10. Microblogs. Twitter. Pownce. Jaiku. Utterz. Tumblr. FriendFeed. Etc.
11. SMS. Services that let organizations build SMS into their social media starfishes. John Edwards is one example.
12. Collaborative tools. Zoho. Zimbra. Google’s docs and spreadsheets. Etc.

It’ll be interesting to see how deeply Google will disrupt the Social Media Starfish tomorrow.

What do you think?

Here’s the two videos:

Part I of Naked Conversations 2.0: defining the social media starfish. 22 minutes.
Part II of Naked Conversations 2.0: how Google will disrupt the social media starfish tomorrow. 18 minutes.

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