13 Sep Why Zooped Sucks
About a month ago, we got a comment on this site asking us if we’d reviewed Zooped.com yet. I’m pretty confident that the post came from someone who works at Zooped trying to get coverage, but as a soical media agency, we decided it was our duty to try it out anyway. As you can tell from the title of this post, it’s not a positive review.
What the folks at Zooped are trying to do is converge a lot of interesting social networking ideas into one place. While that’s an attractive idea on the surface it’s one that, I believe, is doomed to fail. (Read “The Origin of Brands” on Google Books by Al & Laura Reis to learn why.)
On Zooped, you can put up your profile, upload and listen to music, post info about your business, post videos, play games or add them to your blog, or read the news. Of course, that’s the problem. Zooped isn’t the best place to do any of these things, so putting them all in one place doesn’t make it any better.
Like a number of other social networking sites trying to make a go of it, Zooped faces a classic chicken/egg proposition. Social network’s value is in size. When I first signed up, Zooped had only about 7,000 users. As of today, a month later, they have 12,351. Good growth from a percentage standpoint, but infinitesimally small compared to the big networks. Until they get users, they can’t really be interesting. Until they’re really interesting, they can’t get users. Tough place to be.
The Zooped folks may have had a chance if they opened their walled fortress under the social graph, or social network portability, concept. But again, I’m supposed to re-enter all my friends, convince them to join this space, etc. etc. Yet I see no compelling reason to offer them for their trouble. Oh, and want to have your blog on your profile? Start a new one on Zooped. They won’t let you import your existing blog via RSS. How dumb is that?
Most annoying, Zooped absence of real networking has opened it up to the spammers. Of the six emails from “friends” I’ve gotten, four have been Nigeria Scams, and two have offered to date me (no doubt as step one before they begin the Nigeria scam of their own). Each time, Zooped sends me an annoying email that says I have note from my friend, but no hit as to the content of that note or who it is from, and no link to it. While I understand the lack of a link is probably a security measure, it makes signing in a major pain.
I’m not being critical of the programming folks at Zooped. They may, or may not, have built a great platform. But their business decisions, mixed with the natural difficulty of starting a social networking site, make Zooped a non-starter.