Friday, March 06, 2009

The End of Days

Every day I deactivate free ourWorld memberships. Every day I wonder why I'm doing it.

Boom, but why?

Some of our partners don't even offer the option to deactivate a free membership. You just can't. Technically we don't offer it either, but since I can do it, I do.

One player suggested she was doing us a favor, not requiring us to take up memory with her account info. I *think* the usual idea is that we jettison whatever information we have about that player, so they feel somehow more anonymous. Of course, we're not jettisoning anything, we just flip the switch so they can't see it anymore.

For a while, players were working our 'free gems' referral system by creating dummy accounts that fed into their real accounts. That's fine with me, except that a few of the players decided they wanted me to deactivate these dummy accounts for them. It's one thing to work the system for free stuff. It's another to take up my time doing it, for no reason at all. I was polite, but firm, with those players.

ourWorld is an eco-system. Players earn various forms of currency, they leave messages for one another, they become friends with one another, and the system sustains this action through the site's features. It also means the players are extremely inter-connected. It's not even possible to just 'delete' somebody, as that would throw all that inter-connectedness into chaos.

Deactivating free accounts for no good reason may be a mistake. Parents requesting thier child's account be deactivated is a legitimate request, so I'm not saying not do it at all. Potential customers may not be aware that I can reactivate the accounts, and therefore not return when they otherwise may decide to. A longshot, to be sure, but closing doors is generally bad policy.

What I'm saying is, don't expect a "Cancel Account" button on ourWorld any time soon.


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