Thursday, April 08, 2010

Earlier this week, a friend hit me with a request for an Unvarnished Review on Facebook. Normally, I respond to nothing on Facebook — the Werewolf bites were fun while they lasted — but since I trust Hunter I thought “what the hell?” and clicked through. It’s an interesting concept — get anonymous feedback from people you (in theory) trust and an area Hunter just posted about — so I gave a few reviews. Was going to leave it there but instead decided to do an experiment.

I was curious how inoculated Facebook users were to spammy-looking invites. Facebook has made a host of changes to their home pages and alerting rules, plus the various social games dominate whatever attention space is left. My hypothesis: even with a careful selection of likely responders, very few would respond.

I sent out 35 Unvarnished invites to likely responders. The results?

  • 12 (35%) people emailed to ask variants of “was your account hacked?”, “are you advising this company?”, “was this an experiment?” (Answers: No, No, Yes. I have no connection with Unvarnished and have since removed the app from my Facebook account.)
  • 6 (17%) people left reviews

A bit higher than I expected, but the law of small numbers applies. Thus endeth the experiment. Apologies for the spam added to your Facebook wall, but thanks for the tidbit of data.

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