I received an invitation to join BluBet today. I'll have to admit, I had no idea what it was, but the promise of a free gift from someone I know prompted me to follow the links. Had I not been the type who is interested in social/viral technology, I would have deleted it.
I became increasingly annoyed as I was then prompted to sign up for an account, then taken to another screen to add profile information. All with the promise that my "gift" was getting nearer, and yet there was no way to figure out what I was signing up for in the first place. After the third screen I quit. I no longer cared about my gift. I felt that I was being led into a lion's den. It was just too creepy.
A note to anyone who works at BluBet. That sign-up process incites skepticism. It doesn't matter if you learned of it through someone you know. Friends don't expect friends to blindly sign up for things without knowing what they are. If my friend knew what my experience would be like, I'm sure he would not have sent it in that way.
Of course, all this did pique my curiosity. What was BluBet, and why hadn't I heard of it? After a bit of googling I made it to the home page, and was happy to find about us and how this works sections which explained it just fine. In case you're curious and the title of this post hasn't tipped you off, BluBet is about social betting. I find the concept quite intriguing. People post questions and the community bets on what the popular votes will be. Winning is dependent on how well you predict how the community will vote. And then you wonder how many people actually vote that way. Social betting has the potential to be quite fun, and I can imagine all the fodder for party conversations that can come of it.
The best thing about BluBet, in my opinion, is that they are very open about the fact that this is a game. The currency is BluBet Bucks, which only have value on the site. If you run out, they give you more, but acknowledge that you went belly-up. So if someone invites you, fear not. It's just a game.
And to the folks at BluBet. Please change the way you "gift" people into signing up through friends. Social networking works when people can expand trusted networks. I will not invite friends through the site because I do not want them to have to join something with no way to find out information about it. Please fix this. It's just too creepy.