Friday, June 06, 2003

Are you my Friendster?

A couple of months ago, my friend Ben invited me to join, the Kevin Bacon approach to making friends and finding playmates. The idea behind it is a six-degrees-of-separation sort of thing. You join, invite some friends to join, and they tell two friends, and they tell two friends, ad nauseum. The practical upshot is that it's really only four degress of separation, but it's still kind of a neat idea. I'm connected to everyone Ben is connected to, and vice versa, up to four connections. My Friends and the connections of my Friends are my Personal Network, and via the Gallery, I can search for, say, single men 28-40 within 25 miles of Seattle looking to date women. Not that I have. Ever. At all. Really.

Okay, I have, but I haven't done anything with the info.

Some folks are purists, and will only add as friends those they know in the "Real World". Some folks are what's become known as Friendster Whores, collecting friends like they were going out of style, sending pleas of "Add me as your friend!" to the bulletin board, including their email addresses so all & sundry can add them. It got to be so extreme (800+ Friends) that the Friendster Powers That Be killed those accounts.

I'm of two minds on the issue. I can understand the purist standpoint, but for a true broadness of connectivity (and isn't what this whole internet thing is supposed to do? Make the the world a little smaller?), it seems a silly restriction--or, at the very least, one that shouldn't be enforced from the top.

Another unfortunate change that's taken place since I joined is a revision of the Bulletin Board. Used to be back in the day that you could see posts from everyone in your personal network. It was an amazing frenzy when I first joined, and mostly amusing. Got a little old, though, having to reload the page constantly, and there was a spinoff to an AIM chatroom. But then the FPTB changed the board structure, and the fun died. Instead of seeing posts from your entire network, now you can see only posts from those people on your Friends list. Ironic, no? You can see posts only from those people with whom you already have means to communicate.... Yeah, it's as pointless as it sounds. The chatroom is still going periodically, although it's hard to draw in new folks because of the new BB strictures.

To be continued....


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