26 thoughts on “Great comment on adding friends…

  1. I just found out that your blog software does not like the less than character! Mistakes it for html code…

    JeffH: heheh. That’s WordPress.com. It has some weirdnesses.

    Funny, I just committed two patches for this issue earlier today. The fixes should make their way down the chain to WordPress.com soon enough.

    People are lazy. People like Scoble. OpenID is a great tool, but the VC powered rulers of the friend world like the Idea as much as the health care industry liked Micheal Moores movie and socialized medical. There is a better way coming. One that does not require cooperation from the ruling class and does not have to be popularized.

    Being developed by smarter people than me, then. I don’t see another way other than clunky “auto add” software that’d have to be updated constantly. If you can’t count on them cooperating and giving you an open API, you have to get in there and interact with their sites on their terms. But you said it’s not that… so I’ll keep my eyes open for whatever it is.

  2. I just found out that your blog software does not like the less than character! Mistakes it for html code…

    JeffH: heheh. That’s WordPress.com. It has some weirdnesses.

    Funny, I just committed two patches for this issue earlier today. The fixes should make their way down the chain to WordPress.com soon enough.

    People are lazy. People like Scoble. OpenID is a great tool, but the VC powered rulers of the friend world like the Idea as much as the health care industry liked Micheal Moores movie and socialized medical. There is a better way coming. One that does not require cooperation from the ruling class and does not have to be popularized.

    Being developed by smarter people than me, then. I don’t see another way other than clunky “auto add” software that’d have to be updated constantly. If you can’t count on them cooperating and giving you an open API, you have to get in there and interact with their sites on their terms. But you said it’s not that… so I’ll keep my eyes open for whatever it is.

  3. “What defines a “friend?””

    I have a litmus test. And as somebody who was a Tom-like first friend until I stopped the madness, I sit at a good vantage point to comment.

    Will this person loan you $20??
    If the answer is no, they shouldn’t be on your list.

    I wiped out 10,000 friends from my list a couple months ago.

  4. “What defines a “friend?””

    I have a litmus test. And as somebody who was a Tom-like first friend until I stopped the madness, I sit at a good vantage point to comment.

    Will this person loan you $20??
    If the answer is no, they shouldn’t be on your list.

    I wiped out 10,000 friends from my list a couple months ago.

  5. Funny you should mention this, as it seems to be a problem that is coming to be talked about more often now than before. Back in the early days of Facebook, someone with something of a small celebrity status was receiving friend requests faster than he could possibly approve. To fix this, he actually outsourced the friend acceptances. He gave about a dozen of us his login info and had us just accept people whenever we had some free time. It was purely volunteer, but in the end we all got a signed copy of his book. Obviously this isn’t a great solution (the whole giving out your login info part), but just getting some people you trust to help you out could certainly help.

  6. Funny you should mention this, as it seems to be a problem that is coming to be talked about more often now than before. Back in the early days of Facebook, someone with something of a small celebrity status was receiving friend requests faster than he could possibly approve. To fix this, he actually outsourced the friend acceptances. He gave about a dozen of us his login info and had us just accept people whenever we had some free time. It was purely volunteer, but in the end we all got a signed copy of his book. Obviously this isn’t a great solution (the whole giving out your login info part), but just getting some people you trust to help you out could certainly help.

  7. JeffH: heheh. That’s WordPress.com. It has some weirdnesses.

    I have more than 6,000 business cards that I’ve collected over the past few years. What defines a “friend?” Online it’s “someone who you want in your social network.”

    Of course I think I’ve even added Nick Douglas of Valleywag into my friends list, so you probably do have a point. :-)

  8. JeffH: heheh. That’s WordPress.com. It has some weirdnesses.

    I have more than 6,000 business cards that I’ve collected over the past few years. What defines a “friend?” Online it’s “someone who you want in your social network.”

    Of course I think I’ve even added Nick Douglas of Valleywag into my friends list, so you probably do have a point. :-)

  9. although it is by no means a final solution, Facebook has the very useful friend-adder which can go through your gmail/yahoo/hotmail contact list and pull up any email addresses in there with which you are not currently friends with and present them to you for friending.

  10. although it is by no means a final solution, Facebook has the very useful friend-adder which can go through your gmail/yahoo/hotmail contact list and pull up any email addresses in there with which you are not currently friends with and present them to you for friending.

  11. (Continued)
    less than 100. 2) might be similar or slightly larger depending on how high a profile job you have. A majority of most peoples friends lists would probably fall into the 3) and 4) categories. By breaking the definition of ‘friend’ into several categories, we could spend more ‘quality time’ focusing on the much smaller number of people in our 1) & 2) groups and less time dealing with the much larger and time consuming 3) & 4) groups.

    Just my 2 cents.
    JeffH

  12. (Continued)
    less than 100. 2) might be similar or slightly larger depending on how high a profile job you have. A majority of most peoples friends lists would probably fall into the 3) and 4) categories. By breaking the definition of ‘friend’ into several categories, we could spend more ‘quality time’ focusing on the much smaller number of people in our 1) & 2) groups and less time dealing with the much larger and time consuming 3) & 4) groups.

    Just my 2 cents.
    JeffH

  13. Not trying to be negative, but who really has 1000+ friends? I know you are trying out all of these services and you personally have a LOT of contacts. It seems like a lot of people collect ‘friends’ on social networks just for the sake of seeing how many they can collect. But for most of us, who do not have high visibility jobs or don’t lead highly visible lifestyles, we’d be lucky to have a couple hundred contacts with people we actually know. I believe you have broached this topic before, but I have on several occasions wondered what the value of having ‘friends’ on social networks that we do not actually know and have never met. OK, maybe there is some value, and I believe you Blogged just yesterday that someone you had never met found you on Twitter, and you worked a business deal with them. But my experience with sites like LinkedIn, for us average folks, those occasions are few and far between. Maybe everyone is too busy collecting new ‘friends’ to actually use these services to make usefull contacts with people on their ‘friend’ lists?

    I believe the definition of ‘friend’ needs to be broken into several categories. Maybe 1) ‘Personal Friend’ someone we know well and socialize with on our personal time. 2) ‘Professional Friend’ Someone we know from work or professional interaction, have interacted with multiple times, possibly socialize with in a professional setting. 3) ‘Acquaintance’ Someone we may or may not have met, but have some common interest with, maybe we know them online. 4) ‘Would like to meet’ Someone we have come across on line or in passing, do not know, but would like to get to know better.

    I’d be willing to bet that most peoples 1) list would be rather small

  14. Not trying to be negative, but who really has 1000+ friends? I know you are trying out all of these services and you personally have a LOT of contacts. It seems like a lot of people collect ‘friends’ on social networks just for the sake of seeing how many they can collect. But for most of us, who do not have high visibility jobs or don’t lead highly visible lifestyles, we’d be lucky to have a couple hundred contacts with people we actually know. I believe you have broached this topic before, but I have on several occasions wondered what the value of having ‘friends’ on social networks that we do not actually know and have never met. OK, maybe there is some value, and I believe you Blogged just yesterday that someone you had never met found you on Twitter, and you worked a business deal with them. But my experience with sites like LinkedIn, for us average folks, those occasions are few and far between. Maybe everyone is too busy collecting new ‘friends’ to actually use these services to make usefull contacts with people on their ‘friend’ lists?

    I believe the definition of ‘friend’ needs to be broken into several categories. Maybe 1) ‘Personal Friend’ someone we know well and socialize with on our personal time. 2) ‘Professional Friend’ Someone we know from work or professional interaction, have interacted with multiple times, possibly socialize with in a professional setting. 3) ‘Acquaintance’ Someone we may or may not have met, but have some common interest with, maybe we know them online. 4) ‘Would like to meet’ Someone we have come across on line or in passing, do not know, but would like to get to know better.

    I’d be willing to bet that most peoples 1) list would be rather small

  15. @Mark
    “We have OpenID for providing identity and authorization, and we have XFN which can be used to describe relationships”

    People are lazy. People like Scoble. OpenID is a great tool, but the VC powered rulers of the friend world like the Idea as much as the health care industry liked Micheal Moores movie and socialized medical. There is a better way coming. One that does not require cooperation from the ruling class and does not have to be popularized.

    I wish I could go into detail as this is a field of interest for me, but there are some pretty bad people in SF that read Scoble’s blog.

  16. @Mark
    “We have OpenID for providing identity and authorization, and we have XFN which can be used to describe relationships”

    People are lazy. People like Scoble. OpenID is a great tool, but the VC powered rulers of the friend world like the Idea as much as the health care industry liked Micheal Moores movie and socialized medical. There is a better way coming. One that does not require cooperation from the ruling class and does not have to be popularized.

    I wish I could go into detail as this is a field of interest for me, but there are some pretty bad people in SF that read Scoble’s blog.

  17. We have OpenID for providing identity and authorization, and we have XFN which can be used to describe relationships between those identities. All we need is a way to make your XFN “friends list” autodiscoverable given only an OpenID.

    Something like:

    <link rel="xfn.contactlist" href="http://example.com/xfn/" />

    And then we need to convince social networks to support it. That’s the hard part.

    When signing up for a new social network, you’d just provide your OpenID. It’d autodiscover your XFN list from that, and populate your friends list within that social network.

    Heck, it could even be used to pre-approve friends. My OpenID is markjaquith.com I’m not on Pownce. If Pownce supported this kind of system, and markjaquith.com was in your XFN list, it could pre-approve me as your friend. And then when I joined Pownce and filled in my OpenID, the relationship could be automatically completed.

    The social networks could themselves act as OpenID/XFN providers, or people could use any number of third party options (even host their own).

    Bonus side effect #1: universal login (via OpenID) to all social networks that support this feature.

    Bonus side effect #2: Joining a new social network would have one field in the signup form: OpenID.

  18. We have OpenID for providing identity and authorization, and we have XFN which can be used to describe relationships between those identities. All we need is a way to make your XFN “friends list” autodiscoverable given only an OpenID.

    Something like:

    <link rel="xfn.contactlist" href="http://example.com/xfn/" />

    And then we need to convince social networks to support it. That’s the hard part.

    When signing up for a new social network, you’d just provide your OpenID. It’d autodiscover your XFN list from that, and populate your friends list within that social network.

    Heck, it could even be used to pre-approve friends. My OpenID is markjaquith.com I’m not on Pownce. If Pownce supported this kind of system, and markjaquith.com was in your XFN list, it could pre-approve me as your friend. And then when I joined Pownce and filled in my OpenID, the relationship could be automatically completed.

    The social networks could themselves act as OpenID/XFN providers, or people could use any number of third party options (even host their own).

    Bonus side effect #1: universal login (via OpenID) to all social networks that support this feature.

    Bonus side effect #2: Joining a new social network would have one field in the signup form: OpenID.

  19. “Someone will solve this. Someday.”

    Something is coming soon Scoble, and it’s not another MySpace automated friend adder.
    http://www.google.com/search?q=myspace+friend+adder

    People are aware of the bad situation with social networks and lots of new things are being built. Unfortunately they are very complicated and can’t simply be thrown together in a day. The last time I spoke to Duc, the guy who coded myspace, he told me about how he also had planned to work on this but took on adwords instead with the rubicon project. That’s all I can say. Give it some time, like 2 or 3 months max and a couple new web apps will come out that will blow people away.

  20. “Someone will solve this. Someday.”

    Something is coming soon Scoble, and it’s not another MySpace automated friend adder.
    http://www.google.com/search?q=myspace+friend+adder

    People are aware of the bad situation with social networks and lots of new things are being built. Unfortunately they are very complicated and can’t simply be thrown together in a day. The last time I spoke to Duc, the guy who coded myspace, he told me about how he also had planned to work on this but took on adwords instead with the rubicon project. That’s all I can say. Give it some time, like 2 or 3 months max and a couple new web apps will come out that will blow people away.

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