Suppose you start up a ‘social networking’ site as a rival to Facebook and you realise the massive user base they have is sucking all your potential users away depriving you of that wonderful source of advertising income. What would you do to try to increase your membership? Advertise? Quite possibly
Your problem is how, given that your target user base might be already online already and you know that advertising online is hideously expensive and being a ‘one to one’ experience, can be pretty much useless. The answer? Well obviously advertise thru the normal channels and hope for the best. Still, that is also hideously expensive.
A far better, cheaper, more effective method is to get the press to advertise for you… free! How about doing something outrageous, allow a spokesperson to deny it, do it anyway and see what happens.
This is pretty much what appears to have happened within Faceparty another ‘social networking site. Over a period of weeks many Faceparty users found their accounts had been deleted. What’s more, these people oddly enough, were virtually all aged over 36!
The reason, it seems, is that Faceparty decided that anyone over 36 that wanted to join their group must of necessity be some sort of paedophile! Their blurb says
“We understand that only a minority of older users are sex offenders, but you must understand that we cannot tell which”.
In other words… it appears *anyone* who declares their age to be over 36 is suspect! Nice! 🙂
Of course this mind-numbingly crass approach ignores the more than obvious fact that if you were going into the system in order to ‘groom’ young kids you’re hardly likely to have registered using your real age in the first place are you?? In other words… the people who they have selected for account closure, are the ones who are most unlikely to be the people you want to find! Clever huh??
Rumour would have it (spread by whom?) that the reduction in the upper age limit is a ploy to reduce the membership age base to make it more appealing to advertisers, which of course they have denied ‘strenuously’, but either way the advertising has ‘spread the word’ on all sorts of fronts.
Let’s see what has been established. (1) wannabe paedophiles now ‘know’ that Faceparty is *the* place to go searching for jailbait and should join using a false age. (2) young people “know’ that nobody under 36 will be trying to make contact (3) advertisers “know” that the audience for their products will be ‘high spending youngsters’. and of course (4) parents now *know* that Faceparty is *not* a safe place to allow their kids to make ‘social contacts’!!
And all because the site decided to reduce it’s maximum age for membership, Neat huh??
Have I missed anything?