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Don’t sign up for

I’ve been on the receiving end of a number of “recommendation emails” for a new virtual desktop called Goowy.

Goowy also includes an email account (yeah, like we all need another one of those), and during the signup page offers to collect your contact details from an existing GMail/HotMail/Yahoo! Mail account.

What you don’t immediately see is an option, that is ticked by default, that agrees to Goowy sending all your contacts an “I recommend Goowy” email (yeah, like you can reccomend a product before you’ve even completed the mandatory sign-up process!).

Not only that, but the email is constructed to look as if it is from you personally, and not an automatically generated email. The email sent is as follows:

From:{$name} [{$username}]
Subject:goowy (re) invitation from {$name}

Dear {$my_email},

I’m signed up as a member of a service called goowy (re) and I think you should check it out for yourself. It’s a new FREE web-based Flash virtual desktop, 2GB email and calendaring application unlike anything you’ve seen before. It also has powerful widgets, integrates RSS and fun games! They also have client version which delivers the power and fun of goowy (re) to your desktop.

You can sign up for a FREE goowy (re) account at Email me at {$username} when you’re all set up and tell me what you think!

Your friend,


I’ve had a few of these sent to me this morning, and a few of my friends have emailed me to say how peeved and slightly embarrassed they are about it. I agree with their sentiment – I think it’s a really arrogant thing for Goowy to have done.

So my message to Goowy is this:

“Sure, this clever stunt may have (artificially) boosted your sign-ups, I’m sure the VC’s will love that. But it’s created a lot of immediate bad vibe about your product, and that’s before you realise the main service is just a crappy flash app. Considering the way you have gone about all this, what percentage of these signup do you think will ever come back? Very few I would suggest.

Thanks Goowy for showing the world how not to launch a website!”

What do others think of this? Have you received these emails too?

Since posting this it’s occurred to me that the cascade-nature of this marketing campaign, and the way it is not forthcoming with what it is going to do with your contact list, is not much different to the way an email-based virus works. Hmmm, that’s a really great model to use to push your new company! 🙂

Published in News Thoughts and Rants


  1. Viral marketing for startups. I’ve found it happens with a lot of the social networking services. I’m now very careful with this and will often backout and not sign up.

  2. Ben Ben

    Shhh, Adriana! I took your name out of the email to protect your identity! 🙂

    Hey, it was an easy mistake to make. Maybe you should go round to their office with your gun??? (When my mum sees that she’s going to really wonder what kind of company I keep!!)

  3. Thank you for trying to protect my identity, however, the fallout is too bad for me… the damn thing spammed 665 contacts! I didn’t even know I had that many.

    Yes, I am after them now. Alas, will have to hope that word is mightier than sword or slightly updated – blog is mighter than gun. 🙂

  4. We are very sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. This was not at all our intent and we thought we made it very clear during the process (the invite font was big and red).

    Since a few people have had a problem with this we have changed the process so that this will not happen in the future.

    Again we are very sorry for any inconvenience this has caused and appreciate your understanding and support.

    You can see our posting about this on our site @

    – goowy team

  5. yup – irritating – I am with Simon that it seems to be happening more often these days. Just have to be careful I guess.

    Their interface is not for me but it is good to see though that they are keeping an eye out for blog commentary and have responded.

    After all when you make a mistake, all you can do is fix it. Sounds like they have done that. At least there will be no further damage done 🙂

  6. Linda Panda Linda Panda

    Sign up for Goowy baby! I got one of those invites, and this application is AWESOME!!!

  7. tony hartmirer tony hartmirer

    You were so right goowy sucks!!! I think that they are sneeky and untrust worthy, thanks for warnning me!

  8. naisioxerloro naisioxerloro

    Good design, who make it?

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