Seriously, Ryze?

Email from

Subject line: Someone wants to network with you

Okay, fine, I’ve not been to Ryze, but I thought it was cool a long time ago, and I don’t mind linkedin, or facebook, or even myspace messages, so I take a look at the email.


Someone wants to network with you:

NOTE: You can change your Ryze notification preferences at

I visit the site, log in and see the headline:

People who want to network with you…

And the actual message:

Upgrade your Ryze membership to see the list of 2 people who want to network with you

Uh, what? Really? I click the link and it’s $10 a year for Gold, and $20 a year for Platinum.

If the two people who want to network with me are legit, they’ll find me through some other channel, or heck, won’t they just email me?

Ryze was one of the earliest social/professional networking sites I joined. I remember seeing this visualization of the Ryze network and even being spotted on it. I even paid for a premium account at one time. I believe it was the same $10/month thing. But eventually it reached a limit in terms of what it could deliver, and I canceled it. Eventually it seemed that everyone who was talking to me was in MLM folks. Nothing wrong with that per se, but I started avoiding the site.

And now, just to view people who want to network with me, I have to pay? That’s the whole reason I think sucks. To do anything useful, you have to pay, and yet, the site is trumpeted as this great tool to network with. I’m sorry, but exclusivity and dubious value do not go together. And Ryze definitely is only of dubious value.

Ryze, get your act together. Your value proposition stinks. Bad.

six comments so far...

I’ve been reading and listening to lots about animation, and one of the more fun things has been Spline Cast, a podcast about 3-D animation.
My favorite podcast right now is Dave Ramsey’s 1 hour version of his show. Don’t bother with the 3-hour version, it’s not really free.
My previous favorite podcast is Harry Shearer’s amazingly witty, terribly dry podcast “Le Show.” Supremely funny stuff to me.
The coming Scriptaculous 1.8 library looks like it has some new and powerful stuff in it.
Douglas Crockford’s latest comments about worrying about the security of JavaScript where many sites are pulling JavaScript from several tom-dick-and-harry websites (for ads, maps, calendars, photos, etc.) are interesting: Making JavaScript Safe. His concept is AdSafe. If you want to see him talk about the need for the tool prior to the announcement of AdSafe, check out this Google Talk on Gears and the Mashup Problem (Incidentally, this is the kind of thing I watch while I do the dishes):

In that video, I learned what an IBM 3270 is, and that the basic interaction model is what the web became. The central takeaway from this talk for me is the insight that any web page that pulls from more than one site is a mash-up. Just because you’re not using Y!Pipes or Google Mashup Editor doesn’t mean it’s not a mash-up.
Crockford is the best speaker on JavaScript ever, and probably the smartest person about client-side web programming I can think of.
Meanwhile, in 1980s pop music video news, watch this video of the Go-Go’s: Turn to You:

via Open Culture, check out this interactive Map (and Timeline) of Religion.
via We Make Money Not Art, Milk and Tales are a darned interesting art/design group that make interesting, immersive, interactive, artistic installations and public art. This is really interesting work to me. It merges my HCI interests with public art. Here’s a quote to pique your interest:

We started to work on interactive installations together as an offshoot from the course where we were fine-tuning our skills in creating narrative environments. A narrative environment is an experience or a place designed to communicate a story, is hopefully engaging and a place for dialogue. Interactive environments are inevitably linked to narrative environments. We’ve got a mix of skills and are very happy designing both.

Rafe Colburn points to this nice essay: LinkedIn and Facebook and how they are the same and how they are different. The first thing I thought of after reading it was this comment by Sassy: “LinkedIn for work, facebook and myspace for fun. There’s no more room for anything else.”
Cartoonist and illustrator (of both adult and for-kids works) Ellen Forney asks a great question:

I decided long ago not to have a pseudonym to distinguish my work for kids from my work for adults. No separate websites, no separate business cards. And no separate blogs, which is actually starting to feel a little weird. Is it weird? I just figure people can sort it out for themselves.

And if you ever wanted to watch Vanna White and Pat Sajak talk about fonts, I have you covered, via links

That’s all for this morning from Misc-ville.

Having been a Ryze member for nearly 5 years, I can attest to the fact that it is not what it once was!

What started out as a civilized place, soon turned into a free-for-all and is now populated by some of the nastiest, most vindictive, shallow, threatening liars.

Ryze is for those who are starting out in business and really don’t have a clue! They spend all day chit-chatting, telling jokes, exchanging ‘kidney stone’ and ‘baby diaper’ stories and then wonder why their bank accounts are empty!

Not a serious business person among them, in my opinion!

eCademy, born in England, tends to be quieter and smaller, in the US, but effective! I attended a face-to-face meeting in my ‘local’ area about a month ago. Reluctantly, I drove the 50 miles to meet with four (yes, FOUR) other people, wondering why I was wasting my time! Amazingly, I came away with two firm clients!

Ryze, on the other hand is the place where I invested a large amount of precious time (and money) and walked away with no business! I think that speaks for itself.

Unless you are a starving photographer who hands out business cards on the street corner in Forest Hills, or a many-times-married hermit web host, operating out of a trailer, or even a wannabe network administrator who tries (unsuccessfully) to raise money for his bike ride, rather join a REAL social network like LinkedIn or eCademy, Ryze is a waste of time!

Oh, and the Network With Me function on Ryze NEVER worked! You’re right, it was provided by Ryze to all the wrong people as an convenient way to Spam!

No Longer A Ryze Member (Thankfully!)

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