A friend of mine recently sent me an invite to a "social networking aggregator" — oh, god, I can feel my hair falling out already — called Threadsy.
Most people know I have little love for "social networking" sites, not because the idea behind it is bad but because the implementation is often terrible. This was no exception.
And, no, the idea here isn't bad at all: you take your usual family of social networks and register them with the system, and see everything in one place. The problem is that it's not an end-user app like TweetDeck — it's a web service.
That's one strike right there: the idea of giving the keys to my kingdoms to someone else, out there in The Cloud, doesn't thrill me. Sorry, promises from them about how secure they are mean nothing to me when Google is getting hacked.
I started the signup process. Right after they asked for a username and password, I was asked for an email address. Not simply an email address to send my user information to, but an email address with its attendant password. The registration system wouldn't advance unless I provided it with something. The box up in the corner that said "Step Two" was greyed out and wouldn't respond to clicks, so I assumed there was no way for me to go forward without giving them at least one email account that they had access to.
The hell with it, I said, and closed the browser.
I don't know if they realized how problematic it was to require that you give something that personal in order to use their service. Most of us with half a brain have already had too many phishing scams cross our desk to cheerfully submit such data. I could have given them a throwaway email address, I guess, but by that point my interest in the whole thing was already soured.
Maybe they'll revise the signup process so that you don't need to stick your neck out that far to make use of the system. I hope they do, because they're in for some rude surprises if they don't. And for now, I'll take my Facebook and Twitter as-is, thank you.