Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I'm In Like With You Meetup

Of all the things available Monday night (and there were at least 4 techie events happening) I decided to attempt entry into the exclusive I'm In Like With You focus group/meetup.

Having met Charles Forman at September's NY Tech Meetup I felt reasonably assured that I'd be able to sneak into this private little party.

NOTE: If you're into IILWY then you might recognize some of these names. If not, feel free to glaze over.

Some of my friends are big time iilwy geeks (Siena, The Kid, Brookewy, Vrbos), as in they spend 2-3 hours a day checking in on their games via bidding, chatting or just gawking at people. Myself, not so much.

When I was forwarded a private invite from Siena, I knew it would be a good get-together to crash. Free pizza and drinks is an easy sell. They even had free shirts.

It was odd seeing 15 people shoved into an office fit for five. Lo and Behold, we made it work for almost three hours.

The oddest part about this social network meeting up was the fact that in reality I only had four friends with me, yet I knew most of the 15 people through their screen names. I knew all these obscure facts about all the participants. Getting together was great. We even shared gossip about people we liked and disliked on the site. Very petty stuff indeed, but entertaining in a middle school type of fashion.

As a user I have no major gripes with the site. I know its young and they are working hard to make things better. Its an important step to have nights like this were dedicated beta users can share their thoughts about a product. This is where the evolution of a company becomes key. How the developers choose to use our input is completely up to them. Its good to know they are listening.

There was talk about opening up the site to all users at some point in the future. Currently its invite only. This is a point that will surely make the site grow quicker. The more users the merrier. Also, dedicated or not, a poweruser is an inherent attribute that can not be weeded out based soley on invite only. I have invited over thirty friends to the site and only 3 have registered accounts. Only 1 has started a game.

One thing that irks me is the applicability of this platform to advertisers and their lack of sponsorships/partnerships. A game that wastes hours of peoples time should be advertising. There should be sponsored games. Perhaps Larry Flynt sponsors free lap dances or Coors Light sponsors a beer game. This will get people bidding more points and paying more attention.

Looking forward to the future with this one.