In Web 2.0 era, exclusivity has become the norm. Sites don’t just launch to the masses anymore. There are invites, tokens, alphas, recommendations and privileged lists. Like a club that puts a velvet rope and a doorman at the front entrance, outfits that limit access get extra marketing buzz by users panhandling for an “invite.” Reminds me of high schoolers trying to find out where the “cool party” is going to be this weekend.
One slickly designed Web 2.0 site helps with that. InviteShare.com facilitates swapping one’s invites and tokens with other users. Using a karma-like system of “the more you give, the more you get,” InviteShare lists folks who want tokens, and you can hand yours out. They’re not sold, just swapped, as many Web 2.0 sites forbid using the invites in monetary transactions.
InviteShare is also a great way to capture the Zeitgeist of what’s hot in the “invite only” sphere. I didn’t know about some of the listed services, like Oink.cd and MySkitch. Within an hour of putting up a request for a Pownce invite, a kind soul had sent me one. I sent a Joost invite to someone random to balance out the karma.
They don’t quite have all the exclusive Web 2.0 properties there, only ten, but it’s an interesting service that has already 1,000+ users, and going up fast.
The thing I worry about, though, are kids of this generation thinking Web 2.0 spellings are the norm. Will their English teachers cringe when their essays start out, “A cat pownced, a candle flickred, light gleamd, and an orange was joost?”
So in the spirit of better karma, if anyone needs a Joost, Pownce or Freebase invite, send me a note.