Friends-List Whores

Here you go, Maurice.  Time for another round of dueling blogs!

Long ago, in a land far away, or as some call it June, there was a conversation among several writers and editors.  It went something like this:

“Do you ‘friend’ everyone that requests it?”

“Oh god no… I leave out the bands and hookers.”

*insert laughter… it was late, the laughter may have carried on longer that it should*

“I do.”

“Really? Why?”

“They’re free links, free readers, fans…whatever, and willingly attaching themselves to your PR train.”

“But what if I don’t like them, or know them, or want to be associated with them just because they’re on my friends list?” [death by proximity—to be delved into further with next week’s blog]

And the conversation went from there, with several people of differing opinions.  By the end, several people I know [one in attendance] were tagged ‘friends-list whores’ and the discussion sort of died out [I blame the power of The Sandman who took participates against their will] without any concise resolution or decision or decree of unwritten law.  So, let’s open it up again!

What are the reasons for a friends list? Is it just a marketing tool for you, and conversely, for everyone on it? Is it a way to keep in touch?  Is it for advertisements without the banter? Is it all of these things? Is it more than these things?

And what are the reasons to accept someone’s request?  Because they asked?  Because you know them?  Because you want their spam or think they want yours? Because he who dies with the most friends wins?

Let’s be brutal about this “internet community” thing that we’re all doing—whether it be myspace, livejournal, facebook, twitter, blahblah, lockjaw, etc.  It’s the wave of the future, and eventually going to wash up on shore.  Should we roll up our pants and let the gentle water lap at our ankles, or run for the safety of the parking lot because God only knows what’s in that water?

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