Mike Arrington takes on Plaxo — twice

I know I’m coming a little late to this one, but a post on Rick Segal’s blog The Post Money Value pointed me towards a fascinating back-and-forth between Mike Arrington of TechCrunch, Charles O’Donnell of Union Square Ventures (a venture capital outfit headed by Fred Wilson) and Stacy, who works for Plaxo.

Plaxo is the “update your address book for me” company that just about everyone with an email address has probably received an irritating message from by now. Charles, a researcher at Union Square, apparently sent out Plaxo notifications to friends and acquaintances, and blogged about how he tried to make them funny so that people would do it. One of the first comments on his post was from Mike Arrington, who said he didn’t know Charles and wondered why the hell he had sent him a message about Plaxo — a company it turns out Mike has had a run-in with before, which led to a long and tortuous discussion.

Mike then blogged about his experience with Charles, at which point Charles and Stacy the Plaxo spokesperson start going at it in the comments section of CrunchNotes — with Stacy suddenly accusing Charles of breaking the terms of service for Plaxo by sending a message to someone he doesn’t really know.

By the end, I wound up agreeing with another commenter on Mike’s post, who says: “whoosh — that’s the sound of everything that anyone has said about Plaxo on the myriad threads I’ve just caught myself up on – the sound of all of it flying straight past Stacy. Stacy and, moreover, Plaxo, is like that senior citizen in the middle lane of the highway going 40 or the teenager that waltzes right past you to the front of the line at the coffee shop – they’ll never understand what it is they’re doing that’s so damn annoying because they. just. can’t.”

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About mathewi

I'm the chief digital writer at the Columbia Journalism Review in New York, and a former writer for Fortune magazine and the Globe and Mail newspaper.

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