I recently crossed 1,000 friends on Facebook. Am I actually friends with a thousand people? No. Not even close. If I were using Facebook to only be in contact with people I consider myself at least somewhat close to, I’d probably have more like 100 friends. Maybe less.
For a long time I haven’t cared about using Facebook in this restricted way because I’ve basically been using it like Twitter — which is to say, with the assumption that just about everything is public (and I have a filter for the few things I don’t want public). The problem I’ve been encountering though is a massive amount of quasi-spam.
(orkut never counted, although could come back into play)
Because Google IS a social network.
Oh boy oh boy.
Google has done something interesting here. I believe they’ve “collected” first, and then will “connect”, rather than the other way around ala Facebook, Myspace, and every other social network. They make you do all of the work. Google will let you sit back, do your thing, and then connect you with others based on what you put in.
On Facebook and MySpace our close friends and contacts get mixed up with our colleagues who we only talk to every so often.
If Google connects the dots, they’ll do that work for us based on how often we contact someone via gtalk and gmail. Connect me with someone who searches for the same things. Connect me with someone who has made the same type of purchases using Google checkout.
Creepy? Maybe. Effortless? Yep. It’s a tradeoff.