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June 26, 2004
Friendster is desperate; viral marketing failed
Friendster realizes that it has lost the attention of its earliest adopters. This morning, Friendster sent a message to a select number of people that they labeled as “SuperFriends.” It’s a usability survey where they are asking for users’ advice on an email campaign. There are four different potential emails that they sent out as screen shots. Here’s a sample one:
Subject: Friendster Now
So you’re working. Who cares? You have a lifetime to work. What you’ll really regret coughing and wheezing on your deathbed is not looking up all the old high-school friends, college buddies, summer camp alums, Burning Man acquaintances and ex’es who are just hoping you reach out and find them. And discovering new hiking partners, book groups and jam band fans. And setting up that person you really would date yourself if you were single. There’s oh so much to do.
Seriously, you should go to Burning Man. It’s pretty cool. The jam band stuff we understand if you’re not into. We just needed an example there.
Oh, to make sure you keep getting these vaguely sarcastic emails, please add Friendster to your email address book now. If for no other reason than it will look cool to have Friendster in your address book.
The tone of these messages is desperate, begging for attention of the original early adopters - the ones that Abrams told me were ruining his system. One focuses on Burning Man types; one mocks the old Power Point COO; one charges non-users with harming children; one is a desperate love poem. They’re hyper American-centric, SF-centric, white collar, wannabee hipster, intentionally attempting sarcasm (and clarifying that below) and complete with 80s references.
I guess Friendster isn’t happy with the majority of its users being young and from Asia. Does this mean that Friendster has its tail between its legs about its early egotistical behavior? Apparently, viral marketing isn’t working well enough anymore.
Anyhow, you have to read the full message that these SuperFriends got. It has had me ROFL for hours.
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