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Monday, May 11, 2009

Missing feature in social networking sites

-Old post- republished-

If you’re active on social networking sites like Orkut, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the likes you will be familiar with mails of following type:
  • ABC is now following you on twitter!
  • XYZ has approved your friend request
  • 123@gmail.com has confirmed his/her subscription to your blog
  • So and so wishes to connect you through LinkedIn
Whenever someone shows interest in you by some means (friendship request, subscription to blogs, following on twitter, fans and ACs and so on) corresponding social networking sites promptly inform you about the same via mail. But almost all sites do not care to inform you of a lost contact. That is, if someone stops following you on twitter or terminates friendship with you on orkut or chooses to end his subscription to your blog, you usually do not get an alert. (Feedblitz is an exception)

Why so? Why are the sites hiding negative aspects? It’s very crucial for me to know if some people have chosen to discontinue their subscription to my blog or stop following me on twitter or have decided to remove me from their list of friends. Exit interviews are very important and it is very critical to understand why I lost a customer (or a friend or a fan or a reader, as the case may be) It is very difficult to keep a track of it manually. Social networking sites and utilities should have a provision to conduct kind of simple exit interview (like asking the reason why you’ve opted to discontinue) and promptly pass the feedback to the user. If I get an update for what reason a particular person took that decision I can introspect and analyze where I can improve. If the move was due to my fault I can extend an apology and make efforts to ensure that such things won’t repeat. If networking sites don’t facilitate this side of the coin their service remains incomplete.

Do you agree?

9 comments :

Mridula said...

That seems to be a very valid point! By the way, I lost my entire profile on Orkut can you think of any reason why it should happen?

Raveesh Kumar said...

Yes Nidhi, that is a good point. We never know about lost contacts

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Mridula,

Sorry for the delayed reply. If you've lost your orkut profile it might be because

1. Lots of people reported your profile as fake, hence Google deleted it
2. Someone hacked into your account using your user ID password and deleted it (or did some activities because of which it got deleted)

3. You're trying to login with a different email ID than the one with which you created the account.

Can't think of any other reasons- 3rd one looks probable to me.

@ Raveesh
Yes. Thanks for the comment

Amit S said...

nice idea !!!

chipom said...

Retweeting your post! Good point. one never knows when one has lost a 'fan'. although i must admit that in FB i have used the lack-of this feature to 'quietly' remove pple off my friends list...its best.

cheers

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Amit,
Thanks

Chipom,
hmm, ok. thanks for retweeting

INDO said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pavan Pendyala said...

I agree with you, but what I remember is that at early stages (launch phase) most of these networking sites said that you can delete/reject a person and that person would never know.

Since a lot of people do not like saying anything negative upfront, this assurance was important if they wanted to get more poeple online.

I wish there was an option that was given to the user if they would'nt mind letting the owner know about any changes or if they had a way of automatically tracking changes in these gadgets(in case of blogs).

Business for IT pros

Shrinidhi Hande said...

If you reject the request the person may not get an alert, but will anyway know if he/she doesn't see his/her name in your friends' list.

There're so many applications in facebook/orkut but no application for Friends Management (something like Customer Relationship Management, there should be FRM-Friend Relationship Management what say?)