dirty or clever – you decide?

I’ve blogged about nimble.ie before..

They’re an Irish social networking site and i stuck the knife in when i first came across them for several reasons. That knife is still firmly in place today 😉 They’re design was brutal to be honest. They’re entire system was average and nothing mind blowing or industry leading..

A couple of months on and they’ve obviously acted on criticism by giving the site a funky new design.. they peaked at around 32,000 members and struggled to sustain the growth for a month or so..

Now they’re up to over 70,000 members probably down to the new design. So design IS important and it is perhaps (certainly in my opinion) the single most important aspect of keeping traffic on your site. If you have stunning design and average features, it’s a false economy, but people buy into it.. just look at nimble.ie 😉

That’s why i shelled out the cash to get professional’s working on BeerChief.. design isn’t something you can afford mess round with. Nimble.ie was stuck in the 90’s a few months ago.. it still is to an extent, but it all looks much more 21st century, so fair play to them for picking up on the importance of design 🙂

You may think 70,000 members is quite a lot, considering this is basically an Irish only site, with average features and nothing great about it in terms of it’s niche or services offered. You’d be right.

Nimble.ie have used dirty tactics to gain members from their main rival bebo. In fact, it is perhaps a breach of privacy rights as they’re using your bebo profile/info to send out nimble.ie invitations to all of your friends… so technically it is without your consent or at least without your knowledge, so in my book that’s breaking the rules, not bending them.

bebo1.jpg

This is basically, the same as a hacker creating a worm which logs into email accounts and sends spam to everyone in your address book. So it’s unethical. It may be legal, it’s not my job or my problem, i don’t know. But it’s dirty and it’s not something i’d give the thumbs up to myself. It’s not something i’d be proud of. I’m not sure why bebo allow this or haven’t filtered it, but surely they’re aware of it at this stage.

So Nimble, if you’re reading this, you’re not going to gain any fans by using these tactics. You’re going to annoy people and annoy your members. Don’t be surprised if this comes back to bite you at a later date…

5 thoughts on “dirty or clever – you decide?”

  1. I’ll give you a lead here, and perhaps you’ll have the exclusive, cos I haven’t published this.

    Go into nimble, identify the top 10 or 20 internet using countries in the world, and include Ireland cos Nimble is based here. So, Germany, China, India, USA, Canada, Ireland, UK and so on…

    Now, do a search on Nimble for the number of users from each of these countries that are returned. You know, maybe 200 from China, maybe 200 from Germany etc etc… total them up. I bet you’ll get no where near 70,000. So where does the number 70,000 come from? Invented. I remember the day it went from about 1,000 users to about 25,000 users… basically in the time it takes to blink your eye. Study it, blog about it, I’m interested to see what you discover.

  2. interesting theory..

    anytime i’m on the site, there seems to be about 200 users online.. their alexa rank is around 300 in ireland so obviously they are getting the traffic..

    if i do a country specific search, i get maybe 50 people in a list, i don’t get ALL members from that country.. take ireland, i’m a member, but i’m not on the list, so i think they randomly pick 50 members to display foe each country..

    it still appears to genuine (70,000 members).. but of course most of them have quite literally been stolen from bebo.

    i’ve overheard a few people in college talking about it, so i reckon the stats are genuine all right, but nimble unfortunately, are not 😉

  3. Regarding Nimble’s design, just read an article on TrechCrunch about a Spanish based Social Network that recently received 3m funding. Funnily enough Nimble and Wamba share the same homepage image. Check it out for yourself:

    http://www.nimble.com

    http://www.wamba.com

    I can’t imagine Wamba, with a current value of 7.5m, “borrowed” the image from Nimble. Perhaps they just both used the same royalty free image from one of the main image providers….who knows 🙂

  4. Having looked at nimble.ie and read all your comments i felt i should ask some advice so that i dont go down the wrong road with my own website.

    I have seen the aggressive tactics being used by nimble to promote thier website and cant say i agree although it does seem to be working for them.

    I have recently started up my own social networking site, http://www.horsemindandpassion.com although mine is geared towards equestrian enthusiasts only. With limited funds and trying not to use aggressive and invading promotion tactics, what other ways are there to promote it. Being new to all this i feel as though i am running out of options and dont know where to go from here.

    So as i dont start pissing people off i would like to try and refrain from using tactics used by nimble.

    If anyone has any ideas please advise me.

    Many Thanks

    Chaz

  5. Hey Chaz, there’s a fine line between spamming/aggressive advertising and acceptable advertising.

    The easiest/non aggressive way of advertising is to place your website link in your email signature, your forums signatures, any profiles you have on bebo/myspace etc…

    I’d visit/register on some big equestrian forums and start posting/chatting to people, it’s the best way to be seen.

    If you have patience and look after the site, the rewards will come. A bit of cash for adwords would be nice, but we all don’t have it, so you could try and get some $50 vouchers for example for peanuts on digitalpoint forums..

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