Many thank you’s are in order to all the early Connect.Me private beta users. The response has been overwhelmingly positive to the idea and need for a peer-to-peer reputation system on the social web.

I’d like to take a few minutes to pop out of the product development cave, introduce myself, and quickly answer a some of the common questions.

My name is Joe Johnston. I’m the CEO, product guy, and co-founder of Connect.Me.

 

Q: What’s next for the Connect.Me beta?

A: If you’ve tried out our private beta, you’ve probably vouched for a bunch of people, earned some badges, and are now wondering what you can do with your Connect.Me card. Fear not, new features are launching soon. We wanted to keep the private beta simple to help people find and vouch for each other.

Here are just a few of the upcoming features:

  • Embeddable Cards & Widgets – embed in your blog to help people promote & discover you
  • Public Directory – find interesting and respected people on the social web based on peer reputation instead of reach or influence
  • Find People in Your Extended Network – browse your network and extended network by tags

 

Q: I already preregistered for Connect.Me, when will I be let into the private beta?

A: We are letting in new people everyday, but our backlog of users is over 50k and growing. It pains me as an entrepreneur and developer to not let everyone in at once, but right now, we’re focusing heavily on the getting the full product built while improving scalability.

 

Q: Will I be able to rename tags on my card?

A: Yes. Part of the secret sauce of Connect.Me is our taxonomy being built-out behind the scenes. When we launch the public beta (we’re currently in private beta), you will be able to transfer vouches between synonymous tags.

 

Q: Can I remove vouches?

A: Yes. You can both remove vouches you’ve given as well as vouches you’ve received.

 

Q: What is Connect.Me’s business model?

A: The future of the social web depends heavily on solving issues of trust and reputation. Whether it’s answering the question of “Can I trust this seller or buyer?“, or “Who are the most respected bloggers?“, reputation is the next big business on the social web.

Connect.Me will make money by helping connect people to each other and reputable businesses. While we can’t publicly discuss the details of our business model just yet, we can unequivocally say that we DO NOT mine or sell user data, ever. We even won a European privacy award for our commitment to your data privacy – European laws are much stricter than in the US around privacy.

 

Q: Is it safe to login with my social network accounts? Can I trust Connect.Me?

A: This question is near and dear to our hearts as both citizens of the social web and as a company building on top existing social networks. The short answer yes, but you shouldn’t take my word for it.

Because we’re in private beta, we haven’t done a great job on letting people know what we’re doing with their data. But behind the scenes, people are really excited about Connect.Me in part because we’re so committed to protecting your data and privacy.

Connect.Me was awarded the prestigious 2011 European Identity Conference Privacy Award before we even launched the private beta. Our groundbreaking trust framework and privacy policies ensure your data is safe and Connect.Me is a brand you can trust. But if you’re still uneasy about logging in with your social networks, we understand and encourage you to wait until we’re out of private beta before participating.

If I can answer any other questions, please let me know by posting a comment.

And again, many thank you’s to everyone for your interest and participation in Connect.Me. We can’t wait to show you what’s coming next and fully open up the private beta!

Cheers,
Joe