Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Flixster should be called Fraudster?

I was invited by a highschool friend to check out Flixster, a service that is designed around the MySpace idea and attempts to take viral marketing to new levels. I took a movie survey and in doing created an account. It then asked me other questions and clearly it was setting up my account preferences. After choosing avatar, skin and adding a few favorite movies I was a user of Flixster. Great (yawn).

The environment is pretty cool - massive movie database though the pages get pretty busy (like MySpace). The policies are not. The biggest RED FLAG was when they asked me for my gmail password. WTF? Um, no. You can't have my private email password.

The second really weird thing is that I never went back after that initial look-see, and I keep getting emails that say so-and-so user has accepted your friend invitation. WTFx2? I go back today and sure enough I have 5 new friends - friends who I never invited, don't know, and who I suspect might even not be real. (Can you say using the wonders of computer automation to make your new service look more active than it really is?)

Maybe they're just really aggressive. Maybe they've got a bug or "feature" that automatically adds a friend even if you don't. But it's these types of aggressive policies that quickly turns users off.

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