Saturday, March 13, 2010

Friending on Facebook

Listening to insiders talking about Facebook I was struck by all the etiquette around friending behaviours in SNSs. For example, ending a relationship is a complex matter. If the simplest solution is just to delete someone, then what about mutual friends? In life-without-SNSs this is always a tricky matter, but Facebook seems to speed the process up and add another layer of complexity. Similarly you may just delete someone you no longer trust. But then what if you bump into them by accident in RL? So I heard the other day how 'I couldn't look his friend in the face because I'd deleted him'! And then, of course there's the whole process of adding which is equally complex. Leaving aside, for the moment, the idea of adding everybody and anybody to gank up your popularity, the more discerning user wouldn't 'Add a random'. So who is a friend? A friend of a friend, for instance? Or an old friend who has since become an acquaintance? I get the impression that the whole notion of friendship (already a rather fuzzy concept) is being redefined. It's also interesting to hear about who's popular in different social networks. I have 2 examples. Firstly the DJ who's 'on all the time' and throws out questions as bait. 'Most TV adverts are really dry. What's your favourite TV ad?' And in a short space of time everyone has something to say! Another crowd-pleaser is the road-rage driver who regularly reports on his driving exploits around London. The language is rich: the other motorists always in the wrong. It's a performance that has an audience in mind, and attracts both sympathisers and counsellors. Antway, that's all for now must 'go' to VWBPE to give my talk!

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