Don’t Ruin It For The Rest of Us

Rants13 Comments

I am getting sick of all this privacy crap that is coming out lately. All those that don’t like these new services are going to ruin it for the rest of us that like the services. A few examples.

1. Plaxo: This is the service by which you can keep your contacts up to date within tools like Microsoft Outlook. I, for one, always seem to have contacts going out of date. People move, change cell phones, etc. and you never get the update until you needed it yesterday. Imagine if everyone you knew used Plaxo, it would be like having an always up to date directory of your contacts. How great would that be? I think is great and a big time saver. The privacy folks are all bent on the fact that Plaxo has this information and could do all kinds of bad things with it…but they won’t. Hell, if they do, people will change to the next Plaxo like company and we will all move to that.

2. Gmail: This is the new Google mail service that is going to scan your email and give you ads based on keywords. All the privacy folks don’t want people scanning your email. I suppose that seems good but aren’t we already scanning email? I mean right now when I go to Yahoo! mail it has a bunch of email in a junk folder that it thinks is junk. It didn’t know that magically…it looked at the damn email. Oh, but for SPAM its ok — but not for advertising. What’s going to pay the bills? What gets me is that Gmail is a free mail service from Google. Free. I love how people bitch about free things. New Rule: You can’t bitch about anything that is free. If you don’t want it, don’t take it. Its simple. If nobody uses Gmail, then Google will get the hint and change their practices. But maybe for some folks, this ad idea is good. Say my buddy and I are exchanging email about some product we want to buy and magically an ad shows up for that next to the email with a good price. That just saved me a bunch of time looking for the thing.

For me and I hope most, time is one of those things that really matters. You can’t buy more of it. I remember Jeff Bezos of Amazon saying that Amazon would succeed because it saved people time. How true. I just worry that the potential of these services will be limited by over-zealous privacy concerns. Hopefully, a system of checks and balances prevails here.