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Mar 04

Connect with your friends

by Mike • March 4, 2008

News Flash

Our goal here at Spokeo is to create the most effective tool for helping people connect with their friends. connectWith social networks and photo/video content sites becoming more and more popular every day, it’s becoming way too difficult to keep up with everything your friends are posting online.

The average Spokeo user who adds friends from their webmail address book finds 87 friends on 13 different social networks. If you wanted to keep up with that many people, you would have to visit anywhere between 13 and 87 websites per day. That’s a lot of work. And considering that most of your friends don’t post new content every day anyway, much of it may be wasted effort.

Spokeo is attempting to solve this problem by finding all your friends’ stuff, everywhere. We then present their content to you in a simple easy-to-digest interface which highlights the new stuff and doesn’t burden you with an overload of redundant features which you already have from your existing social networks.

We recently implemented a new invite feature which helps you connect with your friends. By signing up with Spokeo (which, as you know, is as simple as entering your already existing email credentials), your friends get the benefit of staying up to date with their friends. You in turn get the benefit of us knowing more about your friends, which helps us tell you more about them.

In a short time, we can automatically and dynamically build up enough information about you and your friends to make sure you’re always in touch with their online activities – with no added effort on your part. This concept is often known as the social graph, and has been described and discussed in boring academic detail all over the place, including our blog.

Spokeo may not have invented the concept, but we’re definitely pioneers in the field. We’ve been trying to solve this network fragmentation problem since long before the social graph became a hot topic. So what makes Spokeo different from the other Web 2.0 social-graph-related applications?

Well, most of those sites are themselves social networks, which means that instead of simplifying your existing social connections, you now belong to yet another social network. And let’s be honest – unless it’s your job to join and write about social networks, you really don’t want to belong to a zillion and two different networks.

If we were a social social network aggregator instead of simply a social network aggregator, then one day you would surely need a social network aggregator aggregator. Or is it a social social network aggregator aggregator? I’m confused already. The point is that Spokeo is trying to simplify things – not add more complexity.

Anyway, we will continue to pursue our ultimate goal: making your online social life simpler and easier to manage. We hope you enjoy our new features. As always, please send us your comments and feedback – we love hearing from our users (yes, even the CAPSLOCK-LOVING-TROLLS).

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13 Responses to Connect with your friends

  1. Evan says: Mar 5th, 2008

    Hey so, the “connect my friends” dialog spammed my contacts without warning.
    This is despite every place on the site saying “no one can see who you’re reading” and “we will not email your contacts”.

    This is pretty much horrible. The email even says “This invitation was sent with (user)’s explicit approval”, which is a lie.

  2. P says: Mar 5th, 2008

    You guys should disclose clearly that you will be using our email address book to send an email to them. I was a bit upset to find out that people on my email list received an email from you guys. People kept asking me what this was. Especially as my email address book includes a lot of people i don’t frequently mail (including work email address, acquantences).. it was a bit upsetting. The messenging on the site makes it sound like you will not use the email for anything other than to setup the account when it fact it emailed them about their info being gathered. I am hoping that any email information you guys use to set up the account will not be put on some list to email every couple weeks.. can someone clarify what happens to that information.

  3. Pete Mauro says: Mar 7th, 2008

    Hey Guys –

    You overall product concept is intriguing but the email I just got from your service really put me off. It’s actually quite disconcerting. It made me angry, concerned and deceived all at once. I am compelled to give you feedback – take it or leave it:

    ORIGINAL EMAIL

    Subject: People are searching for you on Spokeo

    As a courtesy, we are notifying you that Spokeo users have found the following accounts for you:

    Flickr on Flickr
    MySpace on MySpace
    Amazon Mauro’s Wish List on Amazon
    Pandora on Pandora
    Buzznet on Buzznet
    Stumbleupon on Stumbleupon
    Upcoming on Upcoming
    Flixster on Flixster

    If you would like to make these accounts private, please
    change the privacy settings on the original network and
    Spokeo will update its search results to reflect your changes.

    END EMAIL

    MY COMMENTS:

    Subject: People are searching for you on Spokeo

    I KNOW THIS IS MEANT TO BE A GIMMICK, BUT REALLY? FIRST, I DON’T BELIEVE 1 PERSON HAS SEARCHED FOR ME. (TRUST ME, I AM REALLY NOT POPULAR). SECOND HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT? ARE YOU TRACKING PEOPLE’S SEARCHES? ALREADY I AM SUSPICIOUS. IF GOOGLE SENT ME THIS EMAIL I WOULD BE PISSED.

    As a courtesy, we are notifying you that Spokeo users have found the following accounts for you:

    WHERE IS THIS IFO COMING FROM? WAS THIS SOCIAL GRAPH BUILT BY CORRELATING PRIVATE INFORMATION? EVERYTHING BELOW IS PUBLIC BUT THE FACT YOU CORRELATED IT INTO A SOCIAL NETWORK “DOSSIER” IS JUST CREEPY.

    Flickr on Flickr
    MySpace on MySpace
    Amazon Mauro’s Wish List on Amazon
    Pandora on Pandora
    Buzznet on Buzznet
    Stumbleupon on Stumbleupon
    Upcoming on Upcoming
    Flixster on Flixster

    If you would like to make these accounts private, please
    change the privacy settings on the original network and
    Spokeo will update its search results to reflect your changes.

    UHHH, TYPE PETE MAURO INTO A SEARCH ENGINE AND YOU WILL GET ALL THOSE RESULTS. IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU HAVE SOME SPECIAL INFORMATION HERE WHICH YOU DON’T. AND AS FAR ASK MAKING THIS PRIVATE? ITS A LITTLE LATE. SO WHAT IF I DO MAKE THIS INFO PRIVATE? ARE YOU STORING THE OLD PUBLIC DATA ABOUT ME OR WILL YOU UPDATE YOUR RECORDS TOO? I LOOKED INTO IT BUT YOUR PRIVACY STATEMENT IS TOO THIN TO ANSWER MY QUESTIONS.

    END EMAIL

  4. cmoorecole says: Mar 7th, 2008

    You think it’s a good thing to snag names from address books and then send something to them without my consent? Why not warn me first? Why not give me the chance to clean up the list first, removing all the junk and rendering it down to an actual list of friends. I know why not… because many people have mailing lists that haven’t been edited recently – giving you oh so many more names to send your spam to. You could at least leave me out of it. Now I have people wanting to know why I sent them email about this site. Most of them are people I don’t even know. You didn’t even give me time to edit the list first and never, not even once was I asked. At least My Space asks first before embarrasing people by asking them to be “friends”. I fell for your misuse of the word privacy and actually thought this was going to be entirely private. Some of those names leave me in a highly embarrassed and difficult situation. Other people use my computer and somehow I have names in my address book that mean nothing to me. Your site needs some work if you truly want to promote the privacy aspect. I feel violated.

  5. Elroy Jetson says: Mar 19th, 2008

    I love the ability to add a friend and then see the list of other networks he is connected to. I have noticed that the system doesn’t seem to find an individuals blog along with other services. Is there no easy way to discover a blog along with the other services?

  6. Randy Pang says: Mar 31st, 2008

    friendfeedfeed.comhttp://www.friendfeedfeed.com/ for the win.

  7. Joseph Cheek says: Apr 3rd, 2008

    what would be cool would be the ability to track protected blogs. my wife has a xanga blog that is protected and spokeo doesn’t see the feed because spokeo doesn’t have my xanga credentials. but i can see the site fine through my browser. so now i have my non-spokeo sites that i still have to check manually. it would be cool if you could import xanga credentials, or perhaps just send user-specified cookies when you do your feed getting.

  8. m murphy says: Apr 15th, 2008

    Thank you for spamming everyone on my email list with spokeo spam.
    your version of ‘connect’ equals spam to everyone else.
    idiots.

  9. فروشگاه اینترنتی says: Jul 4th, 2008

    I have noticed that the system doesn’t seem to find an individuals blog along with other services. Is there no easy way to discover a blog along with the other services?

  10. C.D says: Jul 5th, 2008

    i will add this site to my favorite list because of it’s great articles.
    can you publish or refer about this in french language?

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  12. reverse email lookup says: Jan 25th, 2010

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  13. Greg T. Taylor says: Feb 12th, 2010

    Cool post! How much stuff did you have to look up in order to write this one? I can tell you put some work in.

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