sunday i got a quechup.com invite from a friend of mine. him being a net-savvy mover and shaker, i figured it might be something i should check out. as part of setting up the account, it asked me if i wanted it to scan my address book for friends already signed up. "three things," i thought, "first, i don't have many friends; second, i don't really keep up an address book; and third, my mail is mostly read in pine." plus it was asking for a username and password so it could check online address books and i wasn't too excited about giving them that. (not being the hip online scenester, i wasn't aware several of the prominent networking sites now do this and it's generally an accepted practice.) so i didn't let it, and i finished signing up. it didn't add the person who invited me to my friends list, which i thought was odd. i then got another invite from a guy i do the radio show with. i won't give out his name, but his initials are jay lee. to be honest, i wasn't seeing why everyone seemed so excited by this site. i poked around a bit on it and quickly lost interest.
a day or two later i learned what was going on. through vague wording not really explaining what they are doing, behaving differently than other networking sites that do similar things, and doing things even when you cancel or tell them not to, they were quickly building hatred toward them by the online world. (well-deserved hatred, i might add.) when they looked in your address book for people already on their site, they also sent out e-mail invitations appearing to come from you to every address in your address book. for people who have thousands of addresses, professional contacts, exes, etc. in their address book...well, you can see it's not a good thing. people didn't even know what quechup had done until they started getting responses and bounces from lots of people regarding their "invitiation".
quechup basically took advantage of trust and expected behaviour, and they burned a whole lot of people. don't believe me? try google searching their name. remember that radio host whose initials i mentioned? he, along with another host (dwight), blogged about it and were linked to from boingboing. the duped host even came up with a name for people taken by the site: quechump.