Monday, December 17, 2007 - another creepy social network

Subject: [a friend's name] has requested your trust on Spock
Date: December 17, 2007 4:18:21 AM GMT+00:00
To: [my email]

Hi Future Spocker,

[a friend's name] has added you as a trusted contact on Spock. By accepting trust, you will be able to search each others’ network, share contact information, and get news.

Click here to get started. [had some URL incorporated to that]


Another of the series of failures of the social networking attempts, just like Pulse Plaxo. Is it so hard, really?

1. Do not send me spam. One is enough.

2. Do not spam the internet and digg about how you will become the google of the people searches. Know what? I'm happy to be found using google when I want to. I sign up for my profiles. There is a huge difference in spock or any other creepy failure social network creating automatically a profile for you or me, or we creating them ourselves. I have no control over who they claim I am. And I have zero desire to join spock, or any other spooky network. No, seriously, no, no, no. LinkedIn, and limited Facebook, that's it. No spock, pulse plaxo, hi5, tweety, orkut, schoolfriends, or anything else. No.

3. What is it with the unsubscribe? Anything that I never subscribed to that is offering me the option to unsubscribe is nothing but spam, irregardless of who sends or appears to have sent it. The spock invites are from people I know, but these basic not understanding how the invites or social networking sites work really creep me out. Don't create a profile by any spambot for me, thank you very much. And don't send me any unsubscribe option either.

Surpise, I am not the only one out there annoyed by invites.
People are considering action against through CAN-SPAM act


James said...

I received a comment from Jay @ to this entry I wrote.

I found it to be unhelpful and Jay completely ignored the issues I raised about's modus operandi.

Anonymous said...

Hi- I just figured I would help clear up some questions regarding Spock and our user generated invites.

1) The invitation you received is from a Spock user (not Spock), who selected to use our Address Book import. During this process users view a list of their contacts on Spock. We then show a user a list of their contacts that are not on Spock, giving them the option to select which users they would like to send invitations to. Given the length that we went through to make this process as clear and simple as possible, I don't really see how what we're doing differs from an evite or LinkedIn invitation.

2) While the point that Google is a better people search than Spock is certainly debatable (and given my position at Spock I would be biased in offering an opinion), but what I will say is that we feel that our people search is more efficient given that a person’s search is not mixed within a number of links that don't relate to them. Also we offer people the option to give additional information so that instead of searching for a friend over multiple sites (their facebook page, LinkedIn, etc) they can instead be found in one area that gives you a link to their profile on that particular site.

At you can claim your search result and give people the option to have certain control over their search result. Given that you have a LinkedIn profile, this profile is most likely public information (unless set as private) meaning that your LinkedIn profile can be searched on Google, Yahoo, etc. I don't necessarily see how this is different from having a link from a Spock search result. In fact if the point of being on LinkedIn is to make you more visible, I would think this would be a good thing.

3) Our unsubscribe link allows people to be removed from future mailings and invitations - I'm not entirely sure why that was unclear, but for future edification that's what it's for.

I apologize for the long winded response and if anything remains unclear please contact me at if you have any other questions.

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Great read, social networking has become very dominate in our lives and is starting to become the method of communication we all rely on.

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