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"Is "Tagged" a spam site, or what?" from The Business Blog at

"Is "Tagged" a spam site, or what?" from The Business Blog at "Dave Taylor
Dave Taylor has been involved with the Internet since 1980 and is widely recognized as an expert on both technical and business issues. He has been published over a thousand times, launched four Internet-related startup companies, has written twenty business and technical books and holds both an MBA and MS Ed. Dave maintains four weblogs: The Business Blog at, Ask Dave Taylor, Dave On Film, and Attachment Parenting Blog. Dave is an award-winning speaker, sought after conference and workshop participant and frequent guest on radio and podcast programs.
Is 'Tagged' a spam site, or what?

Alright, I took eight days off to cruise the Mexican Riviera with my family, no cell phone, no email, nada, and when I get back, both my regular email account and my Gmail account have invitations from unknown people to connect with them through a new service called 'Tagged'. The messages said 'You've been Tagged by XX' and look like this:
You've Been Tagged!

I don't know any 17 year old guys named Gareth, however, so what the heck?

Logically, I click on the 'No' button, since I am well aware that there are more social networks than even I can keep track of at this point, and...

The next thing I see is a rather ridiculously detailed signup form that I have to fill out just to register that I do not know Gareth H. and am not friends with him. Information requested includes my birthday, zip code, and more, as you can see in the screen shot a bit further down on this article.

All I can conclude, particularly given that I'm already pre-opted in (a practice I hate) for the ominous sounding 'offers and surveys' from Postmaster Direct, is that this is the first real Web 2.0 spamming operation?

On the other hand, the company describes itself as ' is the premier social networking destination for the Millennial Generation and an ideal place for advertisers who are trying to reach the teen market. Tagged provides a fun, safe, and exciting environment for teens to showcase their personalities and talents, and to connect with friends and meet new ones. Tagged maintains this great environment by only allowing teenagers to register on the site.'

Ah, well, if that last bit is true, I am doomed to be a blind victim of tagging anyway since it's a long time since I was a teenager, and, heck, that was even pre-Internet, maybe even pre-Al Gore! :-)

Claiming they've been around since 2004, Tagged also has some impressive statistics:

* 3.3MM registered members (13% of online teens)
* 2.7MM unique visitors every month
* 391MM page views per month
* 2.5MM hours spent/month

Nonetheless, what's to make of the information requested and the pre-checked 'spam me' opt in on the first page of the site I see?
Sign up for

It all just feels a bit dubious to me. Is it that I'm just not a 'Millennial' and so value my privacy and the space in my email inbox more than a typical teenager? Or is this just another nail in the coffin of death by social networks that I've written about in the past (see, for example, and Social Networking Fatigue)?

Are you a member of Tagged, and if so, what do you think of it?

ps, yes, I am aware that there's a one-button 'unsubscribe' button on the bottom of the email messages, but given that we've all been trained to be highly skeptical of 'unsubscribe' links on the bottom of emails (because if it is spam it means you're responsive which means you'll paradoxically get more junk mail by requesting to be unsubscribed, not less) and given that clicking 'No' should probably have a 'Tagged's not for me. Please put me on the Don't Tag list' link, I think my concerns are quite reasonable.
Posted by Dave Taylor at February 28, 2007 9:35 AM"
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