I’d like to apologize to anyone in my address book/contact list/ Linkedin network who received and invite from me to Socialminder (no I am not giving them any linky love). I got several invites from friends yesterday. Because my friends are awesome and so well connected, it’s not unusual for us to get beta invites to cool new tools. So this morning I clicked on the link and signed up to check it out, not realizing that somewhere in the process I was spamming all of my contacts. What does Socialminder do? how well does it work? I’ll never know, because thanks to this serious social media faux pas on their part I wont be going back and I wont be encouraging friends to try it out either.
12 thoughts on “Socialminder = Fail”
It’s a really funny service. You have to spam your friends to use it. I backed off of it once I saw I had to send an invite to 15 people to use it (of course no one is spamming people they don’t know, it’s like 50’s McCarthyism, people are naming already known communists:))
From what I can tell from the service, it keep track of how often you email people in your contacts. Not only do you spam people to use the service, it encourages you to bug your friends for no reason.
This text from their website is also full of FAIL:
“* – Note: We understand that requiring referrals to people in your network may not be a popular requirement – however we are giving away the service for free at this time, and we let you decide who gets the referral email. We think that it is a fair trade.. but if you aren’t comfortable with this then don’t be a victim.. no one is forcing you to user SocialMinder, and no one says that you have to do the upgrade.”
“Don’t be a victim” … yeah, I think I can do without this service. What are they thinking??
some how I missed the part where it clearly stated that I was electing to email/invite (or spam) all my friends.
But they are right no one is making me use it, and I wont, and I’ll encourage others not to.
I haven’t used SocialMinder yet. I’ve just been reading all the hoohah it’s generated.
To me, the premise behind the service seems like a good one. Use the service to reconnect with people you haven’t talked with in awhile. For very busy people, this seems like a very good idea. What’s wrong with it?
I have no affiliation with SocialMinder. I just like to ask questions.
Hi Bobbi, I got an invite as well and signed up. While they have not betrayed my trust. I regretted signing up and smapping my friends. I have deleted my account and changed my gmail and linkedIn passwords. They need to make a bold privacy statement. Otherwise trust issues will continue imo
Michael- I agree, the idea sounds great, but I am completely turned off by the language above. In particular- “if you aren’t comfortable with this then don’t be a victim.. no one is forcing you to user SocialMinder, and no one says that you have to do the upgrade.”
I find this extremely patronizing and off-putting. That and the fact that so many people seem to be having the spamming problem Bobbi describes (I know of at least 5) make it a not very attractive product, free or otherwise.
A social networking site that hasn’t learned the cardinal rule of ‘don’t make me spam my friends’ will fail. They want the early adopters to try their service and then tell everyone we know how great it is? Sorry, you already lost us and put yourself in the circular file cabinet with this ignorant mistake.
Karin — I understand where you’re coming from. And I agree, the language is a bit off-putting. Then it seems they need to hire a better copywriter, not go out of business, right?
Christa — “They want their early adopters to try their service and then tell everyone we know how great it is.” The methods may have been different, but you’re describing the early growth strategy for LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, and half a dozen other social networks. Asking people to tell their friends is classic word of mouth marketing, and again, has been used countless numbers of times.
The copywriting needs a change, but to call it an ‘ignorant mistake’ just because they use the same growth methods as most of the services you probably already use seems … well, wrong.
Again, I have no stake in this. I don’t know these people, and I have no affiliation with them. I don’t like virtual pile-ons, though (having been a victim — yes, a victim — of one myself) and am trying to understand the root cause of this one.
312-932-9000 / firstname.lastname@example.org / twitter: merubin
I am a Blog Council employee and this is my personal opinion.
Michael- I am certainly not wishing for them to go out of business. I’m sure the service is useful for some people, but not for me – not only for the reasons above, but like David Lee King mentioned, I keep in touch with people in lots of other ways than email – twitter, facebook and phone.
Also, After I looked I realized I’d have to give out both my email and linked in password to try this- something I would not be willing to do no matter how great the service.
I think that any service that asks you to give up your passwords is wrong. There are plenty of social media ways to stay in touch.
SocialMinder responded exactly appropriately to the reaction in this blog and others, I think:
The blog title says it all, but the details are interesting.
full disclosure: I own the offshore development company that coded most of the SocialMinder application.