Social Network: Users Not Welcome

Posted on July 21, 2008. Filed under: advertising, Boston, Michael Durwin, Social Network, Web 2.0 | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

I’ve recently discovered that I will soon be a father. I was recently a husband and previous to that a fiancee. At the beginning of this category-changing trip, I, along with my fiancee, decided to sign up for theKnot.com. It’s a great site, we found alot of helpful info there from photographers, to the ceremony site, to etiquette hints. I signed up partly to help my wife plan and make announcements, see links, etc. and partly out of curiosity as a creative director that does quite a bit of social network strategy development.

Once married we found that we had graduated to a sister site called theNest.com. Having lived in sin for so many years, it wasn’t the helpful to us. When we found out recently that we were expecting, I thought of theNest and decided to see what they had about new families. I discovered that theNest had a section called theNestBaby, soon to be theBump.com. What a brilliant business plan, a social network for every major step in your life.

So I started using theNestBaby to post our due date and to see what we could be expecting. No offense to the book What to Expect When You’re Expecting, but it doesn’t have a search engine! Today I visited theNestBaby to find that theBump.com had launched. I clicked on the link and found myself on the new site. It hadn’t changed from it’s previous incarnation except for one thing: I was no longer logged in. Ah, cookies, gotta love ’em right? Wrong.

I wasn’t logged in, simple enough, I’d log back in. Hmm… I couldn’t remember my password, of course. So I typed in my email and went over to my account to get my password. Oh yeah, that’s right. Returning to the site, I typed in my email and password: Your account is not active. Huh? I tried it again, and again. Same thing. Crap. How could it not be active if they just sent me my password? Well, maybe they’re not porting over login info. Excvept that it clearly says “Already a member of theKnot or theNest? Log in using your existing membership information.” Interesting, but not helpful.

So now I have to login all over again, assuming that they f@#$d up and lost some of theNest’s user info. What a site registration is. Name, email, password, okay. Address required? Really? “Deals, Events, Inside Scoop” Yeah! So much for hoping on to check off something on our checklist:

My email is already in use. No shit. But it’s not active. WTF!?

How is that going to get users in? Not only have they already lost my users info, but now I have to wait until tomorrow night to do anything? This is a use case scenario that I talk to my clients about all the time. They want tons of info, they want to approve every entry, they want to tie registration to advertising, even if it’s in the form of a “reward”, usually a percentage discount if you buy with a specific advertiser.

So, my first trip into the daddy-to-be social network did not come out so well. Hopefully I’ll feel better tomorrow night when I can sign in, unless I’ve already found the nursery furniture I wanted to see elsewhere, or found another site with a pregnancy checklist that doesn’t make me wait like I’m buying a handgun.

Well, in the meantime, I’m on to make next daddy-to-be adventure. I was thinking today that pregnancy often excludes soon to be fathers. We don’t get any attention, gifts, days off, and justifiably so. We’re not pushing a screaming bag of sugar out any of our orifices! I was trying to think of ways to still be involved, even helpfully so. A quick online search didn’t find too much. TheBump certainly didn’t have a section for fathers. So, I’ve decided to start a small site dedicated to helping fathers through pregnancy. I’ve bveen thinking of links content to include:

Links to helpful info
Recipes even a clumsy guy can easily make (I did bruchetta this evening and will post that recipe – 10 minutes!)
Smart home repairs to get out of the way
A forum for guys to ask advice dealing with cranky wives during the hot days of summe
Building baby furniture

Anything I can think of or that anyone wants to share is welcome. Reply to this blog, I’ll post a link to a new Ning site as soon as I have it set up.

Cheers, the wife is calling!

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6 Responses to “Social Network: Users Not Welcome”

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First of all, congratulations on this wonderful news. Fatherhood is the most important thing in a man’s life.

I’ll look for any sites for new dads. This Sunday marks my 13th anniversary of being a father. These days, I’m a single dad. Still great. Just lots of work.

Best

Jonathan Trenn

Thanks for this beautiful Posting On social networking!
It was very nice to see this great article talking about Community!

Addendum:
Ran into additional baby web site use case scenario: Got a link (www.inhabitots.com) from someone on Twitter, followed a link (www.ooba.com) for a crib I saw on the site. They didn’t have pricing for any of their products. You have to register to get prices. It’s a LONG registration form that REQUIRES:
Name
Address
Phone Number
Email

Even after filling out this retardedly long form, it said that my email already had an account. So I backed out and tried to login using one of my various passwords. Nothing. I tried the “Forgot Your Password” link: There is no account associated with my email! GOt the same response with each different email I tried.
I hope their sales are doing well, because they just lost one. I did send them an email. Wait, let’s back up. I tried sending them a note through the form on their site. It posted my message above the contact info form and cleared the form. Does that mean it went through or not? So I sent them an email. Even if they clean up the glitch, this kind of interaction makes me assign the same possible outcome to any future dealings with them. I’ll assume their furniture is second-rate, I’ll assume it comes in pieces, doesn’t have instructions and doesn’t go together correctly. I’ll assume that they will be overpriced and that their customer service, shipping and order placement will all suck.

Nice Article On Social Networking ! Thank you for keeping up the good work. I look forward to returning to your Social Network space, and learning more about Business Social Networking from you !

Your blog is interesting!

Keep up the good work!

It’s great to read personal narrative on web app user experience where you are motivated to connect as a mainstream end-user (a father), yet there’s that critical eye of the ‘industry insider’ always there in the background.

Congratulations as to being a father! by the way – I have three boys that make me a proud (and exhausted) dad–it’s all good.

If you’re in need of a distraction sometime (for me, between twitter/identi.ca and RSS everything, a distraction isn’t a creature I have to seek out–but nonetheless) I would love feedback on my public web app from someone like yourself:

bebepool.com

The ease/pain and intuitiveness of the signup/login process, basic usability and usefulness of the site–the stuff of your post, really.

Anyway, will check back on the “helping fathers through pregnancy” site you’re pondering.


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