What is a 'friend' anymore? That's the question that many facebook users are starting to ask at any rate, according to an excellent article on social networking in yesterday's Washington Post. The article discusses in great detail how the term 'friend' has changed in the social networking world, or what they described as 'Friends Next'. In particular, the article highlights how those who were very liberal once in accepting 'friend' invitations are now either being much more conservative, or even 'cleaning house' of 'friends' who they don't actually know.

I for one have been a vocal proponent of building social networks with high levels of integrity. It is rare when I accept an invitation in LinkedIn, Facebook, or even here where I don't know the individual, or do not see a clear mutual benefit to the connection. I can say that I 'know' at least 70% of the 680+ 1st degree connections of mine on LinkedIn, and over 90% of those I'm connected with on other networks. The reaction that many are having as described in this article is, in my mind, a natural evolution of these social networks. The big networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, etc., have all tightened up how people connect with each other. In addition the massive growth of niche groups on these sites is further evidence that quality is taking precedence over quantity in the social networking universe.

This trend has significant implications for the open networkers out there. I've always appreciated why some recruiters would see value in the open networking philosophy. More connections = More leads, right? We should all be asking ourselves though what is the true definition and value of a 'friend' anyway. It appears that this question is being asked more and more by many in the online social networking world.

Views: 48

Comment by Dave Mendoza on April 21, 2008 at 9:42am
by my definition you are my friend Ben :)
Comment by Ben Gotkin on April 21, 2008 at 10:08am
Dave - same here. You know where we have agreed to disagree though :-)
Comment by Sally Raade on April 29, 2008 at 4:17am
Hi Ben,

Although you're not my friend, you seem like a great friend to some people. Next Spring I will clean
out my closet of friends that I will have collected by the end of this year on this website and on linkedin.

From a woman's view, when we have clothes that we liked at the beginning but the longer it stays in our closet, we forgot why we have that piece of clothes to begin with. Then we have to go through
our closet and it's getting fuller...so what we do is .....we.give our clothes away so we can have more

We all have friends in many places but the true friends are the ones who wants to see you be successful (or at least look successful.) Have a great week!


You need to be a member of RecruitingBlogs to add comments!

Join RecruitingBlogs


All the recruiting news you see here, delivered straight to your inbox.

Just enter your e-mail address below


RecruitingBlogs on Twitter

© 2024   All Rights Reserved   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service