If you don't like wrestling, don't watch the movie.
As a member of RecruitingBlogs.com, I can send out emails to a few hundred of my friends here on the network. In reality that is a lot of friends. I don’t look at RecruitingBlogs.com the way I look at LinkedIn where there exists some fascination with big numbers. I tried to send an email to my friends here on RecruitingBlogs.com before the holidays and it took me forever to get it done and it was a disaster because I have too many friends here on the network and not enough of the right ones. I know that everyone’s “right ones” are different.
As the guy who has admin rights here at RecruitingBlogs.com I know that members want to be friends with you. It’s not a bad thing but I really suggest before you request to be friends with someone or accept someone’s friendship, really take a look at their profile. You can tell a lot if you look at a few things. You can see how many friends they have. You can see how many conversations they have started or participated in. You can see how many blog posts they have done. You can form a good picture of what it is they do here and then, you can look at what it is they say they do.
As a member of RecruitingBlogs.com, I have too many friends on the network there is no point in me adding new friends anymore but the problem is lately I see so many amazing new posts and ideas and discussions that take place between people who I am not connected with and the stuff I read from them makes me want to be connected with them. I can’t though because it will just take more time. The solution I think for me as a member, and I’m going to start tomorrow, is that I am going to start cutting connections and I want to bring it down to 300. I have 913 friends so it may take a while but I am going to start tomorrow. The thing about the 300 number is that it will be easier to see how I can cut another 100. I think 200 is the right number. I can then start growing it to 500 and I think I will stop there. It's a lot, I know.
As the guy who has admin rights here at RecruitingBlogs.com I have banned over 60 people. It’s no big deal anymore. I don’t even feel bad about it anymore. Most times I don’t even give a warning. The most interesting thing about it for me is that in 99% of the time, I never get an email from them asking why and in 99% of the time, I am never on their friends list. Today I banned 3 people from the network and one from the chat. Two of them were quite attractive and the third one happened to be the fourth time I have had to cut off his access. The attractive ladies had about 1800 friends between them. I felt rejected today as a male because my face is everywhere on the site yet I was not friends with these ladies, they never asked to be my friend.
I think RecruitingBlogs.com is an amazing community with amazing people who contribute a ton of wonderful stuff. As long as I can keep the true toxic stuff out by monitoring it for certain behavior and exercising my administrator’s ability, I will. I hope you don’t mind and I hope you know I don't ban people for having too many friends. In the above cases, it was a lot more than that.
A discussion had last week with a peer was in regards to working towards culling back large contact or networking lists and to begin the process with those that don't contribute to "the conversation" - This of course didn't mean that I felt those persons that were simply more comfortable being readers or that contributed significantly less (than the top 20%?) were less valuable to the community... My take was more that they are still part of the 'family' or 'network' but as a result of being where we could instead have only 'first tier' contacts we were making more work for ourselves.
Simply put: "Friends" list would consist only of the 20% most active contributors on an avg sized network. Somewhere like RBC the % might be much closer to 5%.
The magic % would be up to the individual depending on what they had in mind.. but you get the idea.
It's not like a member of said social network can't still reach out to anyone else - it's just that the list that is maintained for communications, updates, questions and/or critical feedback has more relevant and active connections... hence more value to the list owner.
Jason, first- awesome Iron Sheik video- ahhhh a childhood spent practicing the Camel Clutch on my brother... good times :) (of course he was my older brother, so I was practicing writhing around in pain)
As for your post, I agree with your premise, though I must admit, I see it in reverse. I maintain a very "open networker" position on RBC and other professional social networks ( i have never created accounts on facebook or myspace), and keep my Linked In network smaller. I see my connections on LI as people that I've actually done business with or had some ongoing professional discourse with, so that I'd be willing to recommend them.
In RBC and others, I find my connections to be of value so that I can access the great ideas out there and stay in touch with the world. I love this space. You and the rest of the contributors have done an amazing job in here. While you have 15,000 members, it still feels like Cheers in here. I am glad you're still developing it and staying engaged enough to have these kinds of thoughts. Good for you and good for us that you're doing it. Thank you.
That being said, while I would want you on my friends list, I would definitely understand if you declined. I know that I can always reach out to you with questions, and as the facilitator of this space, you've been awesome at getting back to me quickly. (thanks for the hat, by the way, I'll be posting a new picture today with my lame attempt at a Salvador Dali mustache and wearing your hat) I realize that in truth, I don't know you and you don't know me. I commend your attempt to keep your members close and your friends closer.
QUICK FUNNY LINK: In case you haven't seen this promo yet. I got this from Laurie of HRMToday. BurgerKing is having a promotion that if you "defriend" ten people on facebook, you'll get a free whopper! : http://bit.ly/Ko63
Hey Jason. Thanks for the comment and thanks for the kind words. I guess what I am trying to get across is that whatever works for you works for me but I just wanted to point out to people if they have not formulated a plan as to how to use this, they should look and think about who they are connecting with , or will be connecting with. I am not an open networker so maybe that is why I see it differently. Thanks for commenting and I appreciate the content you share with us all here.
Papa, I agree with Maureen. That was funny. JD might offend a number of decent people because they worship you and if you just dump them arbitrarily it's like their world's going to end. You know what I'm saying?
All the pop psychology books say that you can't have a meaningful network of more than 150 people. Beyond that it is more like a customer database or a fan club.
So you might want to try having a formal policy of 200 friends per member. This would give you a chance to institute the kind of trusted network policy that Jobster and LinkedIn have tried to introduce and failed.
Personally I don't think it will work but because there is no real value to having a lot of friends on RBC because ning prevents you from sending out really large mass emails, it might.
I have over 800 friends and I would be willing to defriend those with whom I have no ongoing relationship.
So I suggest that you invite members to come forward and throw their friend lists on the bonfire -- just like our Beatle records in 1966 -- and run a bulldozer over them and then start anew.
What does everyone think. Start 2009 on Recruitingblogs.com with a real revolution.
We're all experimenting with the strengths and limitations of social software. It was only a year ago that it seemed scandalous when Harry Joiner was banned from Facebook. Now we're learning something about the way that scale impacts community.
I really like the distinctions Michael is wrestling with. Is it a network of friends, a fan club, a direct marketing database or a new resume database? I doubt that there's a single right answer for everyone all the time. I do imagine that great communities will have strong (and enforced) guidelines about building relationships within the membership.
I just moved into a community that has an approved list of plants you can put in your garden. It seemed really weird and restrictive at first. Then, someone explained that any deer resistant plant was on the list. The idea was to manage the fact that the place is overrun with deer, not to cramp my own personal desire for large clumps of poison ivy in the front yard.
What's really cool is that there are a community of us who want to investigate, understand, use and improve.
@Papa John Sumser You won a lifetime achievement award on the Recruiting Animal Awards this week. You can have an icon but there is no obligation to put it in your window. I'm putting postings up about the winners but didn't get to you yet. No reply required. Just letting you know. For people who want their award to seem more prestigious it can come from RecruitingShow.com or RecruitingBloggers.com without my face on it.