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scoble wants a pony

Or he may as well:

“So, what do I want? I want a social network that just lets me add contacts. Lets me add them for any reason. Lets me add them wholesale from other social networks. Lets me import them from Outlook. Or Facebook. Or LinkedIn. Or Twitter. Or Jaiku. Or Orkut. Or Gmail. Or wherever. And then lets me manage them on a granular level. Why can’t I add tags to each contact? Tags I pick. Not that are forced on me by some 22-year-old developer who has no idea about what a 42-year-old’s social network looks like.”

Anyone trying to satisfy alpha-users like Scoble (at the expense of everyone else) is going to drive their product straight off a cliff.

Categories: links
  1. June 18, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    “Anyone trying to satisfy alpha-users like Scoble (at the expense of everyone else) is going to drive their product straight off a cliff.”

    Amen, brother!

  2. June 18, 2007 at 3:31 pm

    Very good point. At reboot9 this year people asked me if their product (which describes something quite close to what Scoble is asking for) would be successful. I don’t have a magic ball yet, but did make the exact same point you did right there – regular people (those that make or break the product) don’t share these problems.

  3. June 18, 2007 at 4:02 pm

    While I was working with the Plazes team, we spent a lot of time going back and forth about levels of “friendship” and tiered permission systems. The team eventually chose to keep it simple, an attitude I wholly endorsed.

    Regardless of Scoble’s derision, the people building social networks aren’t stupid – they recognize that everyone structures their real-world relationships differently. Facilitating that level of control in a product introduces an insane amount of complexity into the act of forming connections.

    I am not saying there’s no room for improvement, but trying to please a user at Scoble’s level of intensity is ill-advised. Responding to your users’ needs shouldn’t be a suicide pact.

  4. Michael Hart
    June 19, 2007 at 10:25 am

    It doesn’t have to be complicated.

    A simplified version of what he seems to want is the ability to add a contact (“friend”) to his address book, and then tag that contact in his address book as a “business associate”, or “family” or whatever.

    You can do that now obviously.

    The next step is the pinging the person who you added so they can reciprocate if they want to (add your info to their address book, and tag).

    What makes this complex is when you want to be the middle man and store the relationship data (who added who and what tags were added to that relationship data). 🙂

    As a user, maybe even an alpha user, I see need for this, especially if you use MySpace at all.

    Just ask every wanna-be celebrity, actor, model, musician and band on Myspace if they think this would be valuable, and you’ll understand why many are thinking about moving to Facebook (who allows you to classify your relationships when adding someone).

    So to clarify your last statement, responding to ONE user’s needs shouldn’t be a suicide pack, but maybe responding to millions of users who pay your bills is. 😉

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