Saturday, August 8, 2009
When I checked my email this morning, I got an email from RapLeaf saying that they're phasing out one of their features on the 17th "due to low demand". They gave me an option to opt-out.
RapLeaf started out as a personal online reputation management tool and evolved into a service that gets information about people on the web for businesses and consumers. I signed on it reluctantly in June, 2008 because I didn't really have a choice -- they had my information up already without my permission. After I "claimed" my profile, I forgot about them until today. My first impression was that they were a bogus company since they just copied my information on LinkedIn.
I don't really like seeing my info up without my permission. These days it's pretty easy for a company to get or make a program that traverses the Internet and use it in their own service.
By December, 2008 RapLeaf changed their policy but my initial opinion of them remained, even though they had great press. Maybe a lot of folks who heard about them came through them the same way, maybe this is the cause of their low demand. It can also be that a lot of people are satisfied with having just a LinkedIn profile. Having a lot of profiles can be taxing on time and energy. If the user doesn't find a need to use the service, most likely they won't bother using it or even put up a profile on it.
New web services need to start thinking about harnessing people's profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and provide additional tools. It is crucial that the user understands a need or else it'll just be another clone site. Which tools do you use to manage your online identity, profiles, and reputation? Why do you stick with them?