About a month ago I received an invite from a friend to try out a social network called “Naymz”. I’m always one to take a look at such things, especially if recommended by a friend. So I clicked through and signed up. That was mistake number one.
Mistake number two (and ultimately a bigger mistake than actually signing up) came in the form of clicking the “See who you know on Naymz” link.
Under normal circumstances, the “who do you know” phase of social netowrk sign up goes something like this:
- I select the form of my address book (Gmail, Yahoo, etc) and it searches my contacts.
- It shows me a list of the contacts who are currently members and asks me if I would like to become “friends” or whatever the nomenclature they use may be
- It then shows me a lit of all the unmatched addresses and asks if I would like to mail them an invite (to which I universally say no)
- If I say yes, it e-mails my friends an invite (ONCE!)
This is where Naymz does things a little differently.
Naymz will let you connect to other social networks to find connections. I chose LinkedIn. It scanned my contacts and presented a list, just like the others do.
Naymz, however, actually combines step two and step three above. It presents the list, and lets you send your messages. Since I have signed up for dozens of these networks to test them out, and I have never seen anyone stray too far from the steps I outlined, I clicked ok. I failed to notice that Naymz includes a small icon and disclaimer that says only those people identified with the icon are users (very few of the people I know are – even now). It also says you should remove anyone you don’t want to mail. The icon and disclaimer are small enough that I missed it completely the first time through and only found it after I became aware of my original mistake.
Now, I had expected to see a list of unmatched addresses after clicking that button. What I saw instaed was an immediate inflow of e-mail that had subject lines like, “What the hell is Naymz?”
I spent the better part of a day apologizing to people for the Naymz spam and told them they should not take that as an endorsement of Naymz. I told everyone that I was simply testing it out to see what I thought.
Since that fateful day, I have recieved many more messages asking the same question. Until today, I had always assumed that was because they had just opened the original message.
However, upon actually logging in to Naymz today (I was looking for a way to turn off or limit their WAY too frequent messages to me), I discovered Naymz has been e-mailing constant reminders (a la Plaxo) to those who had not replied. It hadn’t simply used my name to spam them once, it was following up with mupltiple requests.
So now my Naymz account is cancelled. If you received a request from me to sign up, I apologize profusely. If you said yes to that request, doubly so. If you didn’t say yes, and have been bombarded by further appeals since, even more so.
I had told some people that I would let them know my thoughts when I got done with my evaluation. So here it is:
I would avoid Naymz like it’s the plague. It combines all the annoying characteristics of Plaxo with the disregard for informed consent typically reserved for malware.
I have deleted my account. That is a rare step for a guy who has littered the Internet with unused SocNet accounts. But I am not stopping there.
I hereby hope and pray that the good people at Naymz suffer the karmic ass kicking which they have rightly earned. They’ll go down with Plaxo and Gator as yet another Internet scourge.