Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Do I Know You Genuinely Enough?

shrek2_wp03_1024Image by Yukari* via Flickr

There seems to be a growing trend lately where people are looking to make their social networks more personal. I have expressed concern recently about the 'friends' we connect with that aren't people we really know. The amount of exposure we allow these friends into our personal lives and also the trust we place in the social networks to protect our data.

Take the reaction to the Facebook Terms of Service update - which was eventually reverted because of the backlash - as an example that we should use privacy settings and be responsible. Admittedly I have friends on Facebook that are people I met through Xbox Live and bloggers from social media circles. I have networked selectively to an extent and although the level differs across the many sites I frequent I have adopted a staggered approach to building trust.

Loic Le Meur yesterday was the latest high profile figure that I follow to admit to the problem of not knowing his followers 'genuinely enough'. He expressed that he had lost patience with the autoresponders, robots that send direct messages when you follow them. He reacted by removing everyone he was following to concentrate on the people he knows -
Apologies then if I was following you and I do not follow you anymore, I am sure you will understand it was not manageable and since we are behind Twhirl, I am trying to find a way to solve this problem, like follow large groups of people without having the DM spam problem, and I am confident we will find a solution. Until then, I will remain with a small following list that I will grow one by one daily and remove anybody attacking me again with a robot :)
I admit that this tweet from Loic made it sound as though he was reenacting a scene from I Robot which made me laugh. I understand his stance and although I'm only following a fraction of people I would also feel overwhelmed managing the expectations of that many followers. I will touch on this in more detail when I have more chance to write and if you would like to share your views please leave a comment...

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