Naymz is a networking service seemingly dedicated to allowing professionals the opportunity to promote their services based on their personal name alone. Alternatively, as they put it, “Naymz is an innovative Reputation Network that lets you establish and promote your good name online.

Call me an easy target but Naymz had hooked me into wanting to know more. Naymz espoused the same values I had learned in my youth where your name and word were as powerful and binding as a signed document. Naymz continued to massage my ego as I imagined another great opportunity to tell the world about why my particular talents were valuable and unique, as I see them anyway. Naymz also offered to provide me the opportunity to create a directory for all my online links that I could publish on my web site, blog(s) and online photo album if I so wished.

Naymz also stated it would provide me with an opportunity to optimize and submit my profile to such major search engines as Google and Yahoo. In addition, it would provide RSS feeds and badges to allow others to track my personal activities, for a small monthly fee of course.

What best caught my eye and put a smile on my face is that it (Naymz) notes that to corroborate what you say about yourself and your business is true you need to provide references.

It is so easy for an individual or business to say they are the best in their field of expertise. To be able to back that claim with written customer and colleague testimonials separates fact from fiction. One can only hope the testimonials are factual. (I still receive requests for recommendations by other Naymz members. One even offered to add a recommendation for me if I would write a recommendation for him even though we have never met. My policy is and always will be, unless I know you, or have used your product or services, the chances of me giving you a blind recommendation are zero, so please do not waste your time and mine by asking.)

The intros were enticing and despite the fact, I did find some negative comments when I Googled Naymz I still had that urge to join. My curiosity was on high alert and to resist was futile, as always.
As outlined in the “About” section of Naymz they provide what they call a rep score table based on points, One-(1) being the lowest and ten-(10) being the supreme level. Immediately on joining and providing just the basic details, I earned a rep score of seven-(7). I had not yet sent any invitations nor had I requested or received any references. In addition, Naymz offered me an another 250 points to add to my present 155 points if I opted to subscribe to Trufina; free with a premium subscription to Naymz. Trufina is an online Personal Identification Service.

I should note here that after checking out their criteria I decided neither to join nor recommend Trufina (Available in the US only at this time). Any service wanting me to provide my Social Insurance/Security Number or portions of it regardless of their reason for asking is, in my view, questionable. Why do they need such personal information and what do they intend to do with it. Such requests are normally reserved for Government or Credit related Agencies.

Second is a questionable option (under the networking tab) where Naymz requests your access codes for such services as LinkedIn, Gmail, Hotmail and Outlook for example to invite those you wish to add to your network,. After previously researching and writing on Yaari and viewing the complaints I received from my readers about the abuse they are now subject to it is not going to happen! If I wish to recommend Naymz to any of my network associates, I will do so with my e-mail or other means on my own terms.

I further noted that Naymz has two search engine promotions available. The premium version, which of course is a part of your monthly/yearly paid membership, and the free version called the “Natural Promotion” which I opted to use.

Natural Promotion

“All Naymz profiles are optimized to be found by the search engines and to rank highly for searches on your name. Natural link placement:s
• May appear in the regular results area of the search engines
• May take up to a month to start appearing
• Display the personalized description you choose on your account page.
• Have a higher likelyhood of having a good position if you link to your Naymz profile from other web sites”

I chose the latter based not on cost savings but on past advice, by my business mentor, Robert Sanzalone. Robert taught me the value of a little hard work and creating a Technorati account, by which I was able to increase my SEO (search engine optimization) without incurring any unnecessary fees in just two weeks. I have added a few more choices along the way but again without incurring any needless fees.

What others have to say about Naymz?

Dameon Welch-Abernathy. “I have been spammed several times over the past several weeks by a service called Naymz.”

-Eric Dolecki. “Bye, bye Naymz. I tried you out and tons of people were spammed, my apologies…”

-Jon Bains. “…if it weren’t for the fact that you can actually BUY a ‘rep-score’ of 10 by subscribing to all the premium services making the entire thing worthless. Oh well.”

-Rocky Oliver. “I went ahead and sent invites to most of my LinkedIn list, which in hindsight was probably a mistake.”

Ed Yourdon `In a nutshell, Naymz is an “identity aggregator” — i.e., a mechanism (and a Web page) to help pull together all of the bits and pieces of information that many Internet users have scattered all over the place. Thus, it’s not really aimed at people like me, who have a more-or-less well-organized web site that people can easily find. Instead, it’s for the other 99% of the human race that doesn’t have a traditional web site, but does have a MySpace page, a Friendster page, a bunch of photos on Flickr, and so forth. Thus, it may well be of primary interest to the high school kids, the college students, and the young 20-something adults…”

While I have to admit, Naymz did intrigue me when I first read their home page information and took the online tour, once I joined my enthusiasm soon turned to disappointment. I found what I initially felt to be of value was far from what LinkedIn, as an example, offers. While Naymz does have some good ideas, it still has much work ahead of it before I would even consider recommending it to anyone, let alone continue to use it. It just did not preserve the early excitement I felt before I joined. What it did do is give me a soft nagging feeling of something is not right, as I felt when I reviewed Yaari, although not nearly as bad. I think it was when, like Yaari, Naymz wanted access to my e-mail accounts that my interest started to plummet.

The reviews by others such as Rocky Oliver and Jon Bains only solidified the opinion I had already formed before doing a Google search. Naymz while perhaps on the right track will not be as successful as LinkedIn. Even Plaxo, which I still use with some reservations, holds more value. However, if the boys at Naymz continue to listen to what others have to say, both positive and negative and continue to at work at improving Naymz based on customer input the future could well change for the better.

I would, however, like to give Tom Drugan (one of three-(3) Naymz Co-founders) credit for his tactful responses on each of the sites I visited as he presented both his input from a company and personal point of view. He did seem to be interested in what others had to say. As I see it, no matter whom an individual is or whom they represent I always maintain a deep respect for such individuals such as Tom because they take the time to respond to what others have to say about their products or services, be it good or bad. As a past customer service representative, the biggest complaints I used to receive was about the lack of contact/communication. People often just want someone to listen to their concerns.


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Allan Herman, Creative Visual Marketing Services Incorporated (CVM Inc.)

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