Just signed up to another social network news site Mashable. After the usual screens in setting up a profile I was ready to start. Turns out I have three friends already? Totally excited I looked at the pictures. Who the hell are these people? I know a lot of people, but I’m quite sure I have never met these three. Looking up their profiles it turns out I have become instant friends with the guy “who runs the joint”, and two writers for the network.
I keep on being amazed about the way social network sites have evolved to personal glory sites. There are basically only two relevant things to do on those networks:
- Set up an incredible profile, spent hours and hours on it to make sure it does not in any way represent the real you (well face it, are you really all that exciting in real life?). Actually, sometimes the people I see are so good looking, they must be professional models. Makes me look really “average” 🙂
- Make sure you got more friends than anyone could possibly shake hands with in a lifetime. It ‘s not the quality that matters, but the quantity!
we definitely need new terminology here. “Facebook friend” instead of “Friend” is already some improvement. How about one of these:
- distant acquaintance
- network friend
- on-line friend
- unknown friend
- Google juice
Anyone have better suggestions?
I defer to the Random House explanation:
So you could add associate and companion in the range between acquaintance and friend.
Another good term to use is contact which email and personal information managers typically use. I personally like contact because people use social network sites to stay in contact with others.
Thanks for your comment. It is not so easy to come up with a good name. It will probably be different for each user any ways. But, in general the association the services try to make is friend, which sound warm and cosy but doesn’t depict the reality very well. Contact might be a good alternative, but it still sort of implies a bi-directional form of conversation in it. I sometimes feel that many users use more on way communication (publish). That isn’t always the case of course. let’s see if even better alternatives turn up.