Catchup Quechup – thinking about invitations

Like Simon and others I too got an invite from Hugh to join Quechup.

I signed up, looked around, saw nothing interesting and cancelled my membership.

It is being run by a company called iDate.  I am not looking for a date, so this service has nothing interesting for me.

Fortunately the email that I used was the email I use for all sorts of things that I want to keep at arms length from my other “serious” email addresses so there was no harm done. I don’t think my signing up triggered that email spam that others have encountered but if anyone did get ‘quechup spam’ from me I am sorry. Delete it and move on.

[UPDATE: Turns out I did spam a few people. Again, sorry about that.]

My style is for these type of socially networking type sites like linked in and facebook is to personalise the invitation with something relevant to the person I am inviting. I will try to remind the person of the connection we share (however tenuous that might be). Most of the time there will be some connection allready via a user group, work connection or other mutual connection so they will know who I am. If I am trying to create a connection with someone I only know through the web I will let them know this in the invitation and make it easy for them to ignore me. That might seem a bit strange but it is a little bit of reverse psychology and a little bit appreciating their time. If I am going to interupt someone with an email to join my network that will potentially have more benefit for me than them I am going to let them know that rather than just sending the standard vanilla invite.

When I receive an invitation that I know is that vanilla invite from a site and I don’t know the person then I will usually challenge them to say why they might want to link with me.

I like Terry Chay approach with linked in Haiku. It makes the invitation fun and I think gives the receiver an way to say no without feeling guilty but makes them more likely to say yes too.

Having said that over the past little while of getting into this social network thing, and by that I mostly mean having a blog, I have been able to make and strengthen some relationships that I would not have otherwise made. For me and this blog at least, that is what it is all about. Making connections with others in the wonderful world of technology.

To come to the party invitations need to be sent. If those invitations come in an underhanded way it makes me wonder what sort of party it is and I am certainly not interested in the Quechup party.

Instead of providing a way of raiding your list of contacts, which should have your security alarm bells ringing. These websites should provide a way to upload a list of emails that you have prepared from a source of your own choosing or secondly provide a way to send a email to contact yourself and a link so the site knows where the connection comes from. Both these options are more secure, more personal and less likely to be indentified as spam. They do however, make it harder for the ‘viral’ aspect of spread than the “enter your webmail password here and we’ll raid your contacts” approach.

My final thought comes from the iDate products page. They are the guys behind this Quechup.

Furthermore, iDate intends to introduce a comprehensive referral and reward program to actively encourage members to promote the site. We believe that this will be part of a cost effective and result based marketing strategy.

Hmm – it seems that by having an underhanded signup and spam process they are getting a lot of bad press and I think they now have their work cut out for them. Not so sure if that has been cost effective.

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