Social Media Betas are a Waste of Time


You know the drill, you find a shiny new social media site that you like the look of. All your investigations into the site check out, it’s reviews from your peers sound promising. So you go to register, only to find that it is in limited beta release.  This is the type where you need the invite code to sign up.

Only way to get the invite code is from an existing member or put your name down on the public request for an invite list.  A list that you just know is going to  be  kilometres long already.   So you sign up anyway, hoping that they will get to you soon.  But you know in the back of your mind that this isn’t going to happen.

Still you wait.

Months go by, your interest in the shiny new site wanes. The site doesn’t really get the traction it should have in your social network.

Then suddenly you get the email.  The email from the shiny new social media site. But now you just can’t be bothered, it’s just another dead walled garden of a social media site that has failed to capture the communities imagination.   You glance over the email, and then damn it to the eternal waste bin of deletion.

This seems to be a trend with new social media sites of late to take up to 3 months to send out invites.  3 months is a long time,  I often find that I have totally forgotten about a site by the time I get the invite from them.

Lessons Learnt

So what has gone wrong for the social media site.  Basically it failed to engage people when there was a buzz, when people where interested.   The solutions for this are very simple:

  • flood the market with you beta invites, allow 20, 30 or more of them for each request.
  • process the invite request list ASAP.
  • don’t take months, web communities are fickle, they loose interest really quickly.
  • don’t be too selective on your distribution, A-listed may have more contacts but their true social network is no bigger than most connected people.

So along comes

This week the shiny new social media site is is a content hub and identity management platform, can’t tell you much more than that.  I suppose it’s a little of FriendFeed and a little of ClaimID.  I wonder will be tardy in its processing of the public invite requests.

One thing not in’s favour is its very poor home page accessibility, nearly all the page is displayed as images, even the text.  This isn’t 1998, very poor show, if I was at I would be fixing that.

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