I and many others have seen our inboxes swell this week with emails fron Spock.com “requesting your trust” from friends, former colleagues, casual acquaintances. Something triggered the bordering-on-spam emails from this “people search engine” – I think it was their scraping of unsuspecting members’ address books with an opt-out that many users seem to have missed (I hope I wasn’t one of them). Here’s how the site’s owners describe their creation:
When you join, you can build your network to find where everyone you know is on the internet. Every time you search, Spock will personalize your results to include information that is relevant to your network. You can enhance your search experience even further by establishing a trust relationship with people in your network, allowing you to search each other’s networks for relevant people.
The catch is that your profile is there whether you join or not – culled from whatever other information about you is living across the web. And there’s more! Other people can add to your profile. As a colleague pointed out today, the only way to change inaccurate information from your profile is to join the network – talk about savvy customer acquisition techniques!
This is not the type of social networking evolution most folks want to see. As the me-toos and the WTF’s proliferate, David Churbuck takes note of the growing social network fatigue. Spock.com invitees can no doubt relate.