Skip to main content

Should I just drag all my friends into my social graph?

I may have to re-consider how I use the social networks I'm active on.

The benefits of the network effects can be summed up by that well-worn cliche: "the value of the network increases exponentially with the number of nodes in it."
The fact that "value" here applies to the entire network was pretty obvious to me, but a recent personal event reminded me that it applies to the individual nodes as well, and the value increases exponentially and gets particularly high as it reaches near completeness for the node.

Let me explain the reason for the gibberish above.

I got engaged recently, and wanted to let people know. I did it exactly the wrong way!
I happened to switch my status on Facebook (and a little later on Orkut) and was immediately inundated by messages, Wall posts and Scraps. I shot a couple of emails off to people that I knew though it was based more email address accessibility than thoroughness. I then just dealt with the numerous responses from the above. When I posted photographs from the engagement a month later, a bunch of other people suddenly discovered my engagement and got in touch.
The side-effect of this was I was at work, and not sure who knew I was engaged and who didn't.

I ended up not telling a bunch of people I wanted to, which mildly annoyed em and told a few people twice, which slightly amused them. There are still quite a few people, I really should have told by now, but haven't.

The point is, my social graph on Facebook/Orkut/LinkedIn is woefully incomplete, and I just realized how much is easier my life would be if more of my friends (and ideally anyone I wanted to contact) were on it. Which means suddenly there's a strong incentive for me to make sure more of my friends are on at least one of my networks, and ideally use it often enough so that they see my updates/messages etc.. My rules for adding friends/connections has always been to err on the side of caution, and not be a spammer. So I
  • accept "friend invitations" only from people that I feel like I "know"
  • don't invite anyone to a new network.
  • even if they're already on the network, don't add them unless it seems like they're active on it.

But suddenly, I'm questioning that. If I can influence more people to come in to networks that I'm on, and become active users, doesn't my life become easier? Hmmm...


shmoo said…
You were part of the conversation that ultimately convinced me to join Facebook, and it's certainly helped me keep in touch, at least vaguely, with more people from the GSB than I would've otherwise.

Also, you need to come up to SF some more. We need to hang. Perhaps see a cheerful movie like Be Kind Rewind.
Satyajeet said…
I agree. I definitely need to drag myself out to the city more often to meet you, and the rest of the GSB crowd.
I'm in San Bruno at least twice a week, so making the drive over really should be easier now!

Popular posts from this blog

Yup - humans still lack humanity

Every once in a while, I'm reminded that humans can be completely lacking in humanity.

My wife had the following experience yesterday on her ride back home. She got on the train and found a seat. The train was unusually crowded and it looked a lot of people had to stand for a long ride. An elderly Asian gentleman carrying a few things in both hands, was looking for spot, started to complain smilingly about the train being so full and stood in the aisle at the back of the carriage some seats away from her.

She expected someone closer to gentleman in the aisle (lots of younger people on the train) to give him their seat.

No one did.

The train started, and it was clear the man was having a lot of trouble standing up. Then at the next stop there was actually an announcement saying the train was full so please give up your seats to people who needed them.

Still nobody moved.

My wife got up walked to the end of the train and asked the gentleman to go over to her seat. She still couldn&#…

Whimsy when I changed my profile picture...

I changed by profile picture at work.

Later in the day, two people on my team had changed their profile pictures to these.. :-)

It made my day!

I changed my profile pic again today. Let's see how fast anyone catches on this time. :-)

Everyone's struggle is real... at the very least to them

A couple of weeks ago, while in line waiting to pick up some food I'd just ordered, I overheard two conversations - I don't make a habit of this, but it's hard to not hear things when you leave your phone behind. :-/
My first reactions as I heard both of these conversations was annoyance at the protagonist in one and admiration for the other. Both conversations stayed with me for a while, but it took me some time to realize that was unfair on my part to be annoyed at the person that I was annoyed at.

So about these conversations:
The first was between someone working there and a friend. She was sympathizing with her friend who'd be starting a new job leaving this place. "Oh, it's minimum wage again?", she said with concern in her voice. "Yes, but it's fine", said her friend. The job was closer to where she lived so she thought she'd make about the same and she might get home a little earlier to her daughter some evenings though the hours…