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The value of Friends and Followers

So I’ve wrestled with this a bit and had come to the private conclusion that sheer numbers of friends and followers in facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc are not what matters.  Following a theme from a previous post, social networking is supposed to make your life easier in some way.  In other words, it’s quality not quantity that matter with these kinds of things.  If your company creates a private social network, you don’t want to follow or be followed by the company twitter fiend or the person who is constantly posting on inane subjects. You want value from those interactions so you aren’t forced to wade through the depths of useless content you were trying to side-step before social networking.

I bring this up because Go Big Always has a post on the numbers and how meaningless they are.  I say hurrah for Sam Lawrence for putting words to the myth that large numbers mean anything at all but wasted time……..

One thought on “The value of Friends and Followers

  1. Although I understand your position… and without a doubt the largest number of people I interact with on social sites (twitter and facebook usually) are close friends. That circle has definitely grown based on these social sites. I have never had a target follower number or spent time trying to increase my follower number (outside of advertising my twitter handle at speaking engagements)… I have benefited from a growing follower list in the discovery of new and interesting people with valuable views to share.

    I think the best information I’ve read on the matter is a Harvard study discussed on Neal Ford’s Blog: http://memeagora.blogspot.com/2009/09/twitter-matters-keeping-up-with-weak.html

    It isn’t an all or nothing game. It is strong, weak, potential, nothing game. While the list of potential connections grows, most will remain that… however there is an ever growing possibility that it becomes weak or strong. For me personally, I have people I have developed weak to strong relationships with based on twitter and a common interest. The value to me has been in extending my circle of friends beyond my typical geek friends to folks in social media and advertising, folks who stock and option trade and… more geeks 🙂

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