Monday, December 29, 2008 and and are both examples of social networking gone horribly wrong. Here's a Tip for future business -- stop asking for free things and giving nothing in return. Worse, stop doing that and then expecting to charge people on top of it all.

The general reason social networking sites exist in my humble opinion is to connect people and be as un-intrusive into that connection as possible. The site spams my email in-box every so many days trying to make me believe that someone is searching for me, or viewing my profile -- only two people have ever viewed my profile, yet I've gotten countless messages letting me know this fact as if it's news -- it's not every time -- the count is two and will likely remain two for quite some time.

I suppose lonely people wanting to believe that there are people out there looking for them fall for this feature. It's possible it gets them revenue at these moments of weakness. So far, however, it's had an effect quite the opposite from me. It's clogged my in-box with garbage and I see hardly anyone on there that I know. I don't see the site taking off anytime soon.

Why is this? Why isn't taking off?

Because they want to charge for me to use the site while I build my network. It's that simple. To get the most basic functionality out of the site I've got to pay -- to view people's profile, I have to pay. To "find out who" has been searching or viewing I have to pay.

Another obvious complaint about this site is the amount of personal data they're collecting along the way -- If I search for someone in a prior search the site then tries to notify me that this person has shown up in searches ... later.

All I can say is creepy.

I don't want people knowing that I'm looking for them. I may just be testing the search engine waters (it's partly how I determined that the site is under-populated) -- and honestly if I have to pay to look at their profile I could give a rat's butt at the end of the day.

All of my personal information they want for free -- they don't want to reciprocate in the social transaction by giving me anything in return.

I can only imagine what a premium service from this site is like.

All of this is moot, however, as there's something that's going to take the place of both classmates and at the end of the day -- it's called '' and it's already won. All of the features in comparison are better, you don't have to pay a dime and they have a classmate finder at that's extremely easy to use. I'm writing all of the classmates that I've located on and and telling them to join me on facebook. There they will be able to view my profile, look at my photo albums and find out, truly, what I'm up to from a social perspective. Oh, and they won't blow away posts with external links - like say, -- nice feature guys! It took about 30 minutes for me to help my wife connect her on-line photo album with a reunion event.

At the end of the day, using facebook, we'll all be able to connect to and view the profiles, pictures and posts of people that we care about -- all in exchange for providing our personal information. Sound like a deal?

My strategy for For incoming email I'm hitting the spam button from here on out.

Enjoy, guys.


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