Too many friends

I tried to use Friendwheel to analyze my Facebook friends and their connections. I was told that I had too many. Heaven forbid.


I needed to come up with a list of people who could help me with something I’m doing at CUNY — a very neat project in entrepreneurial journalism I’ll blog about shortly — and so it was quite handy to just dig into my list of Facebook friends and find likely prospects. I also find that I’m making contacts with people in new ways. For me, it’s more effective than LinkedIn has ever been and I’m not sure why that is: maybe it’s more fun; maybe it’s because I have more friends; maybe it’s because it became hotter and so lots of my friends joined. By the way, I maintain my policy of friending only people I know. I wish there were a way for me to meet the other people I don’t yet know. I’m not sure what that is; to have tiers of friendship sounds awfully snobbish. But maybe there’s a need to have virtual mixers.

  • Hi Jeff

    Interesting the comment about different tiers of friendship. My understanding is that you can actually befriend people and subsequently specify the nature of your relationship (I am not sure whether this answers your question) and I would assume that the privacy settting can subsequently be set in terms of what you want to share with which groups.

    I have actually send you a request some time ago but not had it accepted – now I know why ;-) I suppose you can meet other people through Facebook groups of mutual interest.

    Thanks for a good blog.

  • Sue

    Ok, I realise I’m being a bit Bah, Humbug! here – but, please Jeff, unless you’re on a retainer with Facebook what is your obsession? It’s just another networking tool – like an online Filofax but with pictures.

    It’s true there are some really interesting issues here around access and trust (tho’ sci-fi writers like Charles Stross raise better ones) – and particularly the new cult of measuring our personal ‘popularity’ (“too many friends”? Please!!).

    But if Facebook allows you to run a ‘closed’ friends network isn’t that just making good on the annual Christams card promise to call them? How many “hey, Jim – it’s been years, what are you up?” conversations do we want? And how does only talking to people you already know add anything?

    All I know is that there are dozens of password reminder notes stuck to my wall now, for the 40+ networking-led websites I’m now signed up to and I just don’t have time for it all. I can barely find the time to keep in touch with my family, never mind all the ‘friends’ I’ve ever met in my life.

    Maybe the next stage for social networking sites will be virtual desert islands – somewhere to escape the madding e-crowds. Maybe I’ll build it.

  • I’d like for you to consider Marc Wilson, CEO of for your CUNY project. His company is going to roll out to over 1500 newspapers whatever new concepts you come up with.

  • Pingback: Can You have too many friends? — Global Neighbourhoods()