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Social Network Anti-patterns

While social-network-portability documents what to do to put your site on the open social web and be a good user-centric service in general, it's been noted that not everyone follows such advice and instead opts for a bunch of alternative either one-off (wasteful) or downright user-unfriendly tactics. This page documents such anti-patterns of social network design and implementation

Upload your Address Book

Many social networking sites ask you to upload your address book.

This is a bad idea. Especially since so many sites seem to use your uploading of your address book as tacit/implied permission to spam all your friends, e.g.:

Solution: support social-network-portability instead, not address book spamming.

Enter your gmail login and password

Giving any site your login credentials/permissions for another site is a very bad idea.

Not only can you not trust that the site will treat your login credentials with proper care, but it is very user interface design. These sites that ask for your gmail login are teaching users a very bad habit, a habit that is akin to what phishing sites depend on.

Don't ask users for their gmail login and password.

Solution: support social-network-portability.

Blog posts:

  • I know there is a blog post on this by Chris Messina but I'm not sure where it is. Perhaps someone can find it.