So you've been using Friendster for a while, and you've sent some messages out to people you're interested in dating or even just being friend friends with, but haven't had any luck with responses. A high rate-of-response depends on three things, the same three things that apply to online dating, a photograph, a fairly completed profile, and an interesting initial message. Since photograph and profile are up to you, Gothamist will share some of the messages we've gotten to help you get a sense of what works and what doesn't.

2003_7_friendsterbother.jpg

When Gothamist sees something like that, we just delete. There's no real call-to-action. If you're worried about bothering, then why the heck did you write? Give it up. The same can be said for the following:

2003_7_friendsterdate.jpg

Not referencing anything at all in our profile? Just thinking you can swoop in and ask for a date? Come on, Gothamist is easy, but not that easy. The truth is, people love getting messages, but they really don't want to do that much work. You need to lay a little more ground work with your message - show that you've actually read the person's profile. This message, added to the fact that there was not even a picture - pass.

2003_7_friendsterpassiveaggressive.jpg

We'd call this the "Passive Aggressive" approach to Friendster: "Fumbling" your way into some sort of Friendster message relationship, by pretending to stumble across the profile. Sadly, Gothamist felt that if it really was a mistake to message us at all, wouldn't it have been easier to not message? But we do appreciate the Stone Roses props.

2003_7_friendsterdrugfree.jpg

This was one scary message. We don't want to stay in touch. We just hope it's some form letter that was sent to everybody.

2003_7_friendstermsg.jpg

Just wanted to say hi? Who are you, our little cousin? Well, maybe Gothamist is one of the few people who finds a simple hi boring. Give it some oomph. Also, an exclamation point ("Hey, Cutie!"), instead the question mark, would have been more appropriate. There is no reason to write back. At least the following person had the smarts to acknowledge the truth:

2003_7_friendstermusic.jpg

This is a good start to a message. Unfortunately for the writer, there was no reason to continue. The writer could have said something about some other music, did we like such music, etc. This, though, was a very pleasant affirmation of our taste that we did not feel necessary to thank ('cause all we would have written was "thanks"), because it seemed more like a giveaway.

Even strange, almost confrontational messages that specify something very particular about your personality/profile are more interesting than rote "Hey, what's up?" messages.

2003_7_friendsterpanda.jpg

This provokes thought. Clearly, the person was familiar with our profile. And felt very strongly about it, strongly enough to write a message. And above all, what does this person have against pandas, perhaps the coolest animals in the world? Needless to say, Gothamist immediately fired off a response to that.

Post your thoughts about good and bad Friendster messages or your questions about writing better ones. We're here to help, you know.

Gothamist on Friendster Protocol.