Today's center of attention is upon Google's acquisition of Jaiku and what it means for every man and his dog. In the meantime people forget about Plaxo.
The last few days, some of my Irregular friends have had birthdays. Plaxo lets me know in advance the dates of those birthdays, provides me with a selection of e-cards to which I can add a personalized message timed to arrive on the birthday of the person concerned. On each occasion I've used the service I've received a thankful response. It was not an expected response but enjoyable.
Does Facebook offer this? No. Has anyone built a Facebook app that delivers the same? Not that I know.
When thinking about social computing, I'm surprised developers forget the basics. Not Plaxo. It recognizes the value of a social object as expressed by Jaiku founder Jyri Engestrom; that is a noun associated with a verb. In this case noun: birthday plus verb: recognition.
In the enterprise world, recognition matters. It is the foundation of reputation. In the everyday world, everyone enjoys the recognition of a birthday. It's a powerful and sometimes under rated event. Forget Facebook, think Plaxo - they're thinking the basics, not the lip gloss.