A friend recently invited me to join Naymz, a social network designed around professional relationships and recommendations. In other words, quite a lot like LinkedIn, which has been around for much longer. Until recently I’ve been looking for a new job and so I signed up in the hope that I may become visible and head-hunted.
That never happened. Right now I only have two contacts on the site and have only ever had a maximum of three. It may claim over a million members but apparently this does not include any of my friends or co-workers. In contrast, I have over 30 contacts on LinkedIn.
One big mistake Naymz makes is asking for your login credentials for any webmail accounts you have, as well as Facebook and, without a hint of irony, LinkedIn. Admittedly many sites do this, but professionals (especially in IT) are very wary about giving their personal details away to a little-known third party. There’s no way that I would trust Naymz with my Google password, even if they claim they won’t do anything with it beyond a one-time search of my address book, as once they have my password they can do anything in my name – post YouTube videos, spam all my contacts from my Gmail account, change my AdSense settings etc.
This is why a number of sites support OAuth. With OAuth, I could give Naymz (or any other site) limited access to my account on, say, Google without them knowing my password. They’d be able to view my contacts but couldn’t do anything else. And Google would let me revoke that access at any time. Facebook Connect works in a similar way.
As it happened, I ended up doing an export of my contacts in a CSV file and letting Naymz parse it. Even then, that only lead to me adding 1 more contact who was already on there. Judging by its lack of popularity, I won’t bother inviting my other 500+ contacts and wasting their time.
And remember: Never give a password for one site to another, even if you trust them.