Saturday, June 7, 2008

Plaxo Synchronization Oddity

I've used Plaxo for a while to synchronize my address book across a couple of Macs and a web mail account or two. This was the original intent for Plaxo, and it has served me reasonably well as a replacement for the .Mac synchronization (which didn't serve me well, and was overpriced to boot). Today, I discovered a rather strange bit of behavior in the syncronization.

Since I started using it, Plaxo has added a feature they call Pulse. Pulse seems like an interesting variant on the social networking websites, focusing on allowing you to connect up feeds from the sites you actually use and centralize the social networking aspects (e.g., from Blogger, Flickr, and I set up Pulse today.

Without Pulse, I never had much reason to take a look at the online version of my address book. With Pulse, I could see my own address plainly while setting up my profile. It was wrong.

That was quite strange. The addresses at Plaxo came from synchronizing with the Address Book data on my Mac. Those were right! However, there was a chunk of my previous address showing up on Plaxo, mixed in with my current address.

Here's what happened. I now live in Vienna. The address format for my Address Book card is thus set to Austrian. Before coming to Vienna, I lived in Portugal. The Portuguese format has a field for territorial subdivision, while the Austrian one doesn't use that. The extra stuff showing up in my current address is just the old territorial subdivision. Switching the display format for my Address Book card back to Portuguese shows the territorial subdivision field again. The old data is still there, just hidden with the Austrian formatting. It seems that Plaxo doesn't handle this situation correctly, treating all the data as still relevant (to be fair, I don't know if it is even possible for Plaxo to handle it right).

Admittedly, the described case is a bit unusual. Regardless, it may affect others. The solution, fortunately, is simple: switch the Address Book card format back to the earlier country setting, delete the hidden, outdated fields, switch back to the correct country setting, and sync with Plaxo.

Update: Or maybe Pulse doesn't let you connect a feed from Blogger. Mine doesn't seem to be working, anyway.

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