I’m surprised at the poor state of online contact management, given how mature the online e-mail market is. I’ve just spent a frustrating and mostly wasted morning with Plaxo, trying to see if it could fulfil my relatively simple needs (online contact management, syncing with something desktop-based, ideally Thunderbird, and syncing with my mobile phone as a nice to have). After struggling with the over-engineered Plaxo interface, a wobbly Thunderbird sync extension that loses critical bits of data, and a de-duper that misses obvious duplicates, I gave up. The latter service requires signing up to a free trial, which I’ve now cancelled.
At some point I’ll give Yahoo Address Book a go - initial investigations look good, it does away with the unnecessary social networking guff (I’m already signed up to Facebook and LinkedIn, thanks, Plaxo - try focusing a little harder on your core business), and is much speedier. Unfortunately, the Yahoo effort seems to be a bit basic - mainly a lack of sync points - but at least that does remove some of the potential for damage.
Does anyone know of any other solutions? I was willing to pay for Plaxo, and I can’t be the only one. I think there’s an unmet need here.