Apparently there’s yet another social network manager now. I received an invitation to join it from 3 people so far. Two of them are male, one isn’t and has never evidenced an inclination to be identified as such that I’m aware. The invitation read:
Molly has added you as his contact on Multiply so he can better stay in touch with you, and he told us that he is your Online Buddy. To see Molly’s Multiply home page, or start your own, please go to the following address to confirm that he is your Online Buddy
My reaction was basically the same as Biz Stone’s: “Hellooo Computer“
I am torn between a spirit of scientific inquiry, prompting me to join and see if I become similarly stripped of my femininity*, and contempt, encouraging me to ignore the service until they can get through what ought to be the first page of their QA process.
After visiting their site, though, I’m inclined to a third option: don’t use the service.
Multiply, if you’re in the social network software business, if you’re all about personal relationships, your site damn well ought to include sections like “who we are”, “why we started Multiply”, and “our plans for Multiply”. It just feels to me like somebody’s get-rich-quick scheme: accumulate a bunch of data and sell the service (& the data) to the highest bidder.
Answer me this, o software service providers: Why should I trust you with my information and my friends’ information?
I thought I’d see if I could fiind out a little more about the company:
Multiply.com is registered to Peter Pezaris of Delrey Beach, Florida [source: whois.000domains.com]
He’s probably the same Peter Pezaris who was president of operations and product development for SportsLine.com [source: Google query leading to bio article, announcement of resignation from SportsLine last November]
At this point, I googled for his name and Multiply appearing together and found that someone else is asking the same questions I am and reaching the same conclusions. [And, after looking on Technorati to see who else is talking about this, I find Brian and I aren’t alone: danah had the same reaction]
Frankly, I feel highly uncomfortable with what I’ve discovered. I wouldn’t give these people my data. My gut sense is that they’re looking to make cash and get out, not to build a long-term relationship with their customers.
(*Why does “efeminated” sound like it means “made effeminate”, i.e. “more feminine”, rather than being the counterpart to emasculated?)