Social software that sucks
Amongst the few social software success stories there are bound to be a million more who struggle to achieve relevance and positivity from the Internet population. Some of these guys just don't seem to get it. Those outfits who continually dig themselves deeper are wonderfully educational, for they can highlight and demonstrate those practices which should be avoided. WAYN is one of outfits. Their invitation emails are spammy, their sign up links buggy, their webpage is a confusing array of "click here" and "go there", and their tone difficult to relate to. The latest email I received from them is, I think, an ironic example of where their vision does not match their actions.
WAYN (or "where are you now") is a travel orientated social networking site, with emphasis on tracking your contact's movements around the world. It seems rather ignorant then, that their latest email has the subject WAYN Summer Closing Party Newsletter and opens with the statement:
"Although the weather's been much cooler recently, things are definitely hotting up in WAYN's World!"
Immediately half the world is alienated (it's actually been getting much warmer here), and for those that travel (supposedly WAYN's target market) the statement may come across as somewhat self-centred. In fact, since I've signed up to this site, they have on their database my current location (at least as far as I've told them). Why not construct a more personal email asking about the weather in my part of the world? More and more social software is tailoring the experience to the individual, and it is a incredibly powerful technique. We are bombarded with generic emails constantly. Personal or individualised emails stand out. Personalisation seems to me, to be a great opportunity to take advantage of.