How Much is Too Much?
I read good article this morning on ReadWriteWeb titled Facebook Friends: How Many Is Too Many?
The point of the article is that Facebook is rapidly approaching 1 Billion (said with my pinky finger touching the corner of my mouth) users. With so many users, and a large percentage of those users being fake, is Facebook out of control? Are they slip-sliding away from being the ubiquitous social network and turning into the background transport that all other online services, social and otherwise, rely on for content delivery? Are they turning into essentially just a network portal (much like how many thought of AOL in the early days of the internet...showing my age!)?
"Forget “too big to fail.” What if Facebook is getting too big to succeed? Ever-growing friend lists threaten to make the service less personal - and less compelling."
Now that "friending" is an active verb in all our vocabularies, we are dangerously close to over saturation. Our "friends" aren't really friends. Well, some are, of course. But many are casual acquaintances, points of contact, friends of friends, friends of relatives, and so forth. For some, "friending" seems to be an Olympic event and I know a few who are going for the gold.
Perhaps worse, Facebook is headed toward being the next MySpace. GASP!
"“It only takes a few unsolicited, valueless notifications and the utility of Facebook goes down...”
"When that happens, few people bother to take the logical step of “un-friending” all the people they don’t know and blocking useless notifications. Even though that would be the best way to maintain the value of the service."
Every couple months, or so, I go on a Facebook pruning event. I look through my friend list and try to think thoughtfully why I am connected and when we connected. I ask myself if that friend is active with me and whether or not they are contributing or decrementing from my social experience.
Are you a friend collector? Or do you prune the friend tree? If so how often? What criteria do you use before you cut or keep?