An unintentional experiment in social networking

Today I logged back into a Bebo account that I hadn’t used in ages. The first thing it asked me to do was to add friends – and like so many other social networks it does so by logging into one of your email accounts and finding email addresses. Since their terms and conditions say they won’t store your gmail password and just retrieve email addresses, I tend to use this service to add a few select friends.

But Bebo is really f….d up in this respect. Parden my words, but today I have spammed each and every one of my contacts and all the mailing lists I am subscribed to, I have been blocked from multiple mailing lists and my email has probably been marked as spammer by many, so that I may ultimately have to change my mailing account.

It was unintentional and I apologise to all of you who had to suffer.

I usually regard myself as fairly intelligent, but Bebo’s system totally tricked me. So, when you sign up with Bebo, make sure not to fall into the same trap. It looks like this is a pretty common complaint. Here are links to at least three others that had the same issues:

If you look at the second post, it has screenshots. My screen was indeed slightly different to that. I had three sections with contacts – one already on Bebo out of which I selected a hand-ful, ones suggested as contacts through contacts which I completely unselected, and a third one with all my email addresses. Each of the sections had a submit button. Naturally assuming that only the ticks in the particular section would be submitted with the button underneath that section, I clicked ok underneath the hand-ful of selected contact. Half an hour later I am now totally shattered and don’t know how to apologize.

The only interesting effect out of this faux pas is that within the first I hour I made 22 friends! An amazingly fast way to get to a lot of friends in a social network. Unfortunately, Bebo has broken my trust and made it to the bottom of my social networks, so if you’d like to be in contact with me, try me on LinkedIn or Facebook.

2 thoughts on “An unintentional experiment in social networking

  1. Thanks – it’s really embarrassing. But I hope to be able to look back on it and laugh about it some time soon. It did teach me some lessons.

    BTW: current friend count is 44 – after just one day.

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