Thursday, March 18, 2004
I linked to an excellent post below by Chris Allen less than a half hour ago in the post below about unrequited Eurekster Requests. I left a comment on Chris Allen's blog with a pointer to the post. And he added me to his Eurekster Network. Subsequently, I promoted him to the Eurekster Network Blogroll from My Unrequited One. Thanks for the love, Chris. Def read Chris's Blog. He has a knack for summarizing the complicated conversations that happen across blogs about social networking stuff.
I've added a blogroll for the people that I have invited to join my Eurekster Network that haven't responded. It isn't complete, since I don't feel like going back and finding their blogs and adding all of them at this point. My plan is to gradually add them from past rejections and to add people as I invite them. If they join, I'll move them to my Eurekster Network blogroll, also to the left. I actually have about 60 unrequited requests and 33 confirmed Eurekster personal network members. In marketing, a 1/3rd response rate isn't that bad. However, for the amount of effort required in sending 90 personal invitations, it isn't quite worth it to the average marketer. Some people might crawl in a hole or tie a noose if they got that kind of response rate to friendship requests. However, I see it a little differently, from a permission marketing perspective. I intend to make a living online at some point, and some of these contacts that I am initiating and relationships that I am building are a step in that direction.
From Eurekster's perspective, I am functioning as brand ambassador, a customer evangelist. They don't have the pick up that orkut or friendster got, right outta the gate. If these were orkut invites, I may have had a better hit rate. John Battelle shot me a quick email saying that the impediment to people trying out Eurekster during the early adoption phase is probably because people are too busy. This is probably one of the reasons, but sounds more like an excuse to me.
I think there are a lot of impediments to the growth of new services. The first is getting people to even try it out. Press, of course, obviously helps, and that is what Eurekster has done fairly well. (Not to detract from the goodness of Eurekster, I imagine the NBC investment helps out in getting some press too. ) Another way is to have customer evangelists. By building viral functionality into the tool, as all the social networking sites do, sites are creating a way to let anyone be an evangelist. (eg. Me)
People like me, with the ability to initiate conversations with people regarding mew products, are perfect people for sites like Eurekster to target in what John calls the "Early Adopter" Phase. My Eurekster Network List to the left are for the most part, these types of people.
So, why add the people that haven't responded? Why give them a link? Most guys that get dissed when trying to pick up a woman, would call her a snooty bitch and dismiss her as someone not worth knowing. Some of these people may be snooty bitches. But mostly, like John mentioned, they are probably just busy. I imagine some of them dismissed my invite as spam. Most probably failed to see the value to them in trying out Eurekster or linking up with me. There are a lot of probable reasons.
BTW, If you see someone's name there or see yours, the invitation is still open.
This highlights what I believe to be a flaw in most social networking sites: Unrequited Love is Not Captured. In other words, all of the rejected invitations are lost. However, these are valuable. They show that I respect that person and wanted to initiate some kind of relationship with them. This is what the practice of blogrolling allows.
There has been a flurry of sites that have started to add "relationship qualifiers" and there has also been a flurry of responses to it (summarized by Chris Allen). I agree with Clay Shirky that it'll be impossible to characterize relationships in fine detail and actually may create little value to anyone, even if it does get done. So, I think qualifying the relationship beyond "I'd like to talk to this person for some reason in the future.", is pretty silly. Further, I think everyone should get used to unrequited love, not as a personal attack, but just as something that just happens. And people should learn that if they request love from enough people, you'll eventually find what you're looking for.
You may get lucky (in the bar or in blogging) only 30% of the time, 5% of the time or 98% of the time. In blogland, if you are looking for a homerun, send me a Eurekster Network invite. It is sure to land you on my requited love blogroll.
I tried the ViewPoint Search bar today and it screwed up my system. I had alexa, yahoo, ask, google and eurekster toolbars installed. I had to uninstall them all to get IE to launch.