Archive for June 2011

Today’s interesting definition of ‘relationship’

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I had to go digging into my Gmail junk folder today (looking for posts to an anti-spam mailing list that had gone missing), and found something even more interesting. Two emails, sent a couple of days apart at the end of May (and caught by Google’s spam filters), telling me that some randomly-named woman (‘Ashley’ or ‘Jackie’) had ‘sent [me] LivingSocial Deal Bucks’. The emails themselves were fairly standard service invitation emails, and both of them actually came from a guy named Josiah Wartak (whose Twitter and Gmail handles both appear to be “Jawartak”). I don’t think I have any kind of relationship with Josiah – he apparently has something to do with a textbook-brokering website called Fairbooks – but that’s not the kicker.

At the bottom of both of these invitations is the following text: “You are receiving this email because you have an existing relationship with LivingSocial”.

Well. No. No, I do not, actually. I’ve never used LivingSocial. I was completely unimpressed by their early advertising tactics (a guy holding a sign up to the window of the Today Show? Really?), and had no interest in their concept of deals. I’ve searched that Gmail address’s entire corpus of email, and I can’t find anything from or related to LivingSocial, except for those two emails.

So, two problems here. Yet another “invite a friend” feature that allows uploading of random addresses (compounded by the inability to link a LivingSocial username to a real name, for email purposes), and an assumption of relationship on LivingSocial’s part. The first can be easily solved, if LivingSocial wants to prevent abuse. The second is much more insidious, and probably requires a complete change of LivingSocial’s understanding of what a relationship is. I hope that second one can actually come to pass.

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Written by hanov3r

June 10, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized