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By (March 22, 2009) ()

I’m having a hard time thinking about an additional MIP network or game that I’ve used outside of facebook, but I really try to limit my own participation on social/game websites that require membership considering I already belong to Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn (which I NEVER use), and formerly Friendster (remember that?). I’d say I’m experiencing social network fatigue. I would guess that Twitter utilizes MIP in it’s structure and application, although I don’t use it myself. However, I see that my friends who do use Twitter (also post their tweets to facebook) will often pick up on each other’s posts. 

The MIP reading made me think once again about the Friend Adder application I purchased a few years ago to increase my band’s number of friends on Myspace, where the application would automatically send friend requests to users based on variables I chose (like music taste, gender, age, location, salary etc). According to BJ Fogg’s 6 components of MIP, here’s how I’d rate The Friend Adder:

1. persuasive experience: YES. The Friend Adder wasn’t really a persuasive “experience” but it did directly invite and persuade to users to befriend my given band, click on our page, and listen to our music.

2. automated structure: YES. The user (me) was able to decide how many requests were sent out over a given period of time and select the demographic of my chosen recipient pool

3. social distribution: NOT REALLY. Users being added did not simultaneously see who else was becoming a friend of the band, although they could see our friendship numbers increase if they refreshed our page. At the time myspace didn’t have a service for users to recommend bands to friends, although the user could manually send emails or comment to their friends about the music. At a certain point, myspace added newsfeeds (like that of facebook), so users could track their peers new “friendships.”

4. rapid cycle: YES. This cycle was controlled by me to some regard and if I sent out more requests on a given day, our site numbers would increase. Site activity would also increase if we updated our myspace page with new music or blog posts or played concerts outside of our hometown. However this momentum was MUCH slower than that described by Fogg in reference to facebook.

5. Huge Social Graph: HARD TO SAY. The Friend Adder allowed me to reach a lot of people on a given day, but it was in the thousands, not millions like Fogg describes. I’m sure this number could have increased if Friend Adder still worked, and if people could use it on sites like Facebook.

6. Measured Impact: MOSTLY YES. Users could see the numbers of new friends increase every time they refreshed the page, but statistics weren’t listed in the same way they are on Facebook

I think the problems the Friend Adder had becoming a fully-fledged MIP application lay in the limitations of the medium it worked in (Myspace). Facebook event invites are a lot easier to use and persuade than gig invites in Myspace. Facebook gives users the option to invite ALL of their friends or select a more limited group. In contrast on Myspace, the band would have to add each friend manually that they wanted to invite to a given show and there was no information about the person (where they lived, age, sex etc) in the invite portion, so it was a lot more blind, random and impersonal invite. Facebook’s event updates and guest list function are a lot more effective in their persuasive qualities than anything used on Myspace, since a Facebook user can see if any of his real friends are going to a particular event. If the Friend Adder worked with Facebook, its MIP qualities would be a lot stronger.

March 22, 2009

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