Facebook is a social NETWORK, emphasis on Network. Social is what you define as it. Some people decide that it is the closest x number of friends, and goes all the way to, I will friend everyone in an attempt to show that I have more friends than you. Where is the middle? What is the policy that makes Facebook the most useful?
Facebook is the most important network currently because it is used by the most amount of people. Also with the most amount of members, it boasts 55% of users check in once a day. Each social network is different, but I want to focus on Facebook. It has hit critical mass where it basically has become a verb, and when your brand name has become a verb that means something. Twitter has its use, so does foursquare and gowalla. Buzz is up and coming, but again, each has its niche market. Facebook is ubiquitous.
I determine friends on facebook in the following: Have I met you? If the answer is yes, as in I have met you in person at least once, I want to be your friend. I don’t expect you to reciprocate and accept, but why not? You can edit your privacy to allow me to see nothing. The reason for this is because I may need to contact you for whatever reason. Instead of having to remember your name, finding you, and have to friend you, why can’t you just block me from seeing all information and still allow chat and messages?
Another idea to prove my point. You usually don’t randomly meet people. You generally meet people at events that you have some mutual connection to. You are going to a party that someone invites you to, or you are going to an event that you have interest in. There are idiots at each of these events, but the likely hood is much less because they have been pre-filtered by either the friend at the party, or the nature of the conference.
Take the opposite scenario. You may want to contact me. I, and you, can make the decision of “do I want to help,” at that time.
What have I missed? How am I wrong?