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Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Jigsaw: Even Opt Out Would be a Step Up
I'm with Michael Arrington on this one. As much as I've railed against Jigsaw, I could deal with the existence of this company if they gave me even a token amount of respect...and oddly enough, granting that respect could make their business a lot better. Consider this radical idea:

Joe Salesperson uploads his contacts into Jigsaw. Each of those contacts then gets an email saying "Joe Salesperson would like to make your contact information available to others via Jigsaw. Click here to confirm that the contact information listed below is correct, and to make your information public." [If you like, you can also imagine that the information will automatically become public after X days, though I'd prefer not.]

Ideally there's also a link right there in the email that allows me to reject the request (and all other similar requests forever and ever, amen), but that's probably asking too much, isn't it?

In any case, think about what this does for Jigsaw and GIGO, which has to be a huge issue for them. If that email bounces, they immediately know that the information is garbage in, and that the source of the contact may be sketchy. Don't post the contact, and flag the provider for review. On the other hand, if all of Joe Salesperson's contacts actively confirm their information, then all that contact info can be listed as "confirmed," and Joe can get extra-special Jigsaw points for being a good citizen.

So Jigsaw gets to immediately and automagically reduce the garbage out of their system, as well as getting some useful metadata on which of their users are genuinely putting something useful into the system. I also get a couple of things out of this: I become a participant in the process, rather than a piece of meat. I know who wants to put my information into this system, and I have the ability to remove myself from that system if I so choose.

Putting all of these things together, you end up with a Jigsaw that contains contact information that is accurate and represents people who will likely be more receptive to sales calls, because those people already know that they're listed in Jigsaw.

Not that I think that'll happen, or anything.
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