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My social software success story

Posted by Kathi Chenoweth on March 20, 2008


It just occurred to me.  I am not as new to social software as I thought.  I was doing some research earlier this week and came across the Wikipedia definition of social software.    I was originally trying to understand social bookmarking.  I’ll probably come back to talk about that experience in another blog….but the point for today is, I was on one of those random explorations through Wikipedia where you click one thing and then another and the next thing you know you are reading about the philosophy of artificial intelligence.  Hmmm, interesting but not why I came here.  And now it strikes me that the social bookmarking may be helpful when I start losing my place, huh? OK yes, like I said, that’s for another blog.

Anyway during this particular stroll through Wikipedia, I came across a  list of social software.  And there I saw it: match.com.   Match.com would’ve been my first foray into social software, I suppose. The year was 2003.  I decided to join just to see what would happen.  My first obstacle was uploading a picture of myself since I didn’t own a camera, let alone a digital one.  I finally decided to use one that my colleague (and Meg’s fashion consultant) had posted from the PeopleSoft User Conference.  Yes, a photo of me standing in the Meet-the-Experts booth with the dorky red “experts” shirt.  Of course I cropped out the actual booth, but still.  It’s a bit sad that the only picture of me is while I am at work, isn’t it?  And thus the reason I had turned to match.com in the first place!

And then I had to write a profile.  Torture!  I think I write the most boring self-descriptions known to man.  Though maybe I need more interesting subject-matter.  In any case, it was a rather drab, yet truthful, description of myself that I posted that day. So for a couple of weeks I fielded some messages from various guys (most of whom were just blindly messaging everyone).  Spelling was atrocious!  I’m sorry but I weeded out a lot of them for using horrible spelling and punctuation.  I mean, if you are going to cut/paste the same lame message to every girl in a 20 mile radius at least do a spell-check on it first.  And take the time to capitalize “I”. 

For my part, I was still a bit clueless on the whole message exchange process.  The messages were sent ‘blind’ but I kept messing up and replying directly, thereby revealing my true email address.  Most guys were pretty cool and pretended not to notice. Hey at least I can spell.  But I guess I established my inability to quickly master social software right from that first experience. So, one day a brief email came in from a cute guy with good spelling.  He thought it was interesting that I developed software for a living. (Again I am a dork.  What kind of a profile is THAT to attract guys?!? Didn’t I learn in college that you never reveal you major in Computer Science in social settings?  Unless it’s Triangle Fraternity.  Those guys were always cool with it. ). 

The guy-with-good-spelling and I wrote back and forth for a week and then he asked if I wanted to meet. I think he was just growing tired of my meandering emails as I’m sure you readers can relate. After my initial panic: meet!?!   So soon?  Well OK, I agreed.  I got to pick the date.  I shot down March 17th because I didn’t want to forever ruin St Patrick’s Day if he was an idiot.  I settled on March 20th.   We met at the local BW3s, a sports bar, where March Madness was underway, as well as the first shots of the Iraq War, which we assumed would be brief in it’s duration. We talked for a few hours, we ended up dating for awhile….

Five years later, he and I still connect online from time to time.  Just the other day I contacted him on video chat.  He was in the kitchen and I was upstairs in my office.  Just checking in with my husband to see how things are going in the lower half of the house.  Yes, that cute guy with the good spelling that I met five years ago is now my husband.  And I owe it all to social software.

5 Responses to “My social software success story”

  1. Amy Wilson said

    Happy Anniversary Kathi!! What a great story!

  2. Gretchen said

    Great story! I think you have to take back your anti-social article…Except the part about ninjas vs pirates. They are pretty annoying!

  3. Meg Bear said

    What a great post Kathi. I do agree that writing a profile is torture, would be great to find ways to make that easier.

  4. Ravi Banda said

    Great story Kathi !!

    This reminded me of another social site, “myfamily.com” which was used by one of my colleagues to share News, Photos with their family members back in 1999/2000 itself. I also created an account there but sort of discontinued when they made it a paid site and there were alternatives available like Yahoo Groups.

  5. [...] husband searched online (that’s how he found me…which worked out pretty well). Nothing ‘local’ came up. Hard to believe all these business [...]

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