So, I thought I would take a look at Friendster and see what it was all about. An account is free, right? I got logged in, but then realized that there's not too much you can do without... well, without friends who are also on Friendster. So I decided to load up my address book from Gmail and see who it found.
That was mistake #1.
Then since I don't like to give out my email password, I thought I'd export my contacts as a .csv file and import them into Friendster that way.
That was mistake #2.
Turns out that when you import a .csv file to Friendster, it apparently assumes that you want to send an invitation to everyone in that list. No veto. No "look them up and see if they're on Friendster and if not let them alone." No nothing. It just instantly emails everyone in the .csv file!
Now, I had cleaned it up a little before uploading, but there were still some people in there I would have rather left out... fortunately, for most of those people my contact information was old so those emails bounced anyway. For the others, I sent out an email explaining what had happened and telling them that I didn't mean to spam them with Friendster invites. "I don't even particularly intend to use it forever," I told them. "...Just wanted to get the flavor. The flavor of spamming my entire address book isn't particularly tasty!"
Lesson to learn: social networking sites don't always act like you think they will. Make sure you know what you're doing when you tell them who your friends are!
3 weeks ago