This evening while watching the television I noticed an interesting advertisement show up: Comcast’s ad for their new “universal address book”. Immediately I thought that this must be part of the recent Plaxo acquisition. Sure enough after looking around I found the new Universal Address Book service site and it does indeed leverage Plaxo.
The goal is straight-forward: let everyone access their contacts and calendars from a central location. This is something that data portability is supposed to help accomplish. The one place where they can’t access all my contact information is from Facebook. I wrote about this issue earlier today. Facebook needs to open up their contact lists for this to work.
As I’ve been saying for a while now, the real battle for social networks is the race to our contact list. Unfortunately nobody has been able to accomplish this yet but Comcast is going to leverage Plaxo’s services, with the help of Joseph Smarr of course, to try to offer this service. Unfortunately Comcast couldn’t get the service to work for me.
Apparently I was one of the users being affected by some sort of email outage that I was unaware of. In the middle of my chat with a Comcast support person, the chat application crashed and my conversation was ended. Thankfully I was able to at least figure out a way to embed the following promotion presentation that was included on their site. We’ll see how long this stays live!
Once Comcast can resolve my email issues I will hopefully be able to try out a more thorough demo. It’s interesting to see how quickly Comcast has integrated Plaxo’s services into their own. I wonder how soon we can see these services directly integrated into our televisions rather than having to use the net to take advantage of this.