A Surprising Social Network Barrier to Growth: Invitations

I’ve written before about the mistake that many people make using the default invitations – in particular with LinkedIn (see don’t send generic LinkedIn invitations!) – but what’s amazing to me is how many of the newer and perhaps less well known social networks aren’t learning from the experience of the big guys.
Two cases in point that are in my inbox right now, one from Naymz.com and one from Fast Pitch.com.
Here’s exhibit A, the invitation from Naymz:

Email invitation to join Naymz.com

click for a full-size image

What the heck? This is really extraordinarily ugly and formats so poorly in my email program (Microsoft Entourage) that it makes me wonder if the people with Naymz have ever actually received an invitation. Yech. I won’t join just because it’s ugly.
Exhibit B, from Fast Pitch, is even more interesting:
Email invitation to join Fast Pitch.com

click for a full-size image

My understanding is that Fast Pitch is a legitimate professional networking site, but really, this whole coy “a colleague has invited you” is a huge spam warning flag and there’s also no way in heck that I’m going to join a network that sends that kind of invitation.
So what the heck? Is it so hard to produce attractive, coherent, intelligible invitations to join new social networks as they are created?

3 comments on “A Surprising Social Network Barrier to Growth: Invitations

  1. Dave:
    You are right on the money with this.
    People, take some time when you are networking, online or in person. It is about building trust and appreciation in your network, not just building numbers. If you are insincere in your networking, your network will be weak.

  2. Good point Dave, I have also received many such emails from the HR companies where they create the login details and send you the invitation in a Web 2 friendly manner. Inviting to join a micro community is good initiative but there are many non-spammy ways of doing it, people can learn this from gmail invitation engine.
    Navtej Kohli

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