Ok, last of the ideas for the night.
The thing I have noticed about social networks is that I have a lot of “friends”, but I cannot say I am terribly close to most of them. Seems like the connections are shallow and not deep.
Don’t get me wrong. It is nice to get status updates from classmates I haven’t seen in 20 years or co-workers who left the company a year ago. As a Gub noted when we ran into each other last weekend, it is nice to have a finger in each others lives. This is especially true after I found out that a friend of mine from my high school years died this year.
Still, perhaps there is a need to have a social networking site that limits the number of friends you can have. Limiting your list to 3, 5, or 10 friends really focuses you mind as to who and/or what is important. I have tended to only “friend” someone who is already on a site, and not invite people to a social networking site. I would feel more compunction to invite someone on to a site where my friends were limited.
But what is the win to having the network of close friends? What services should a site like that provide that would make people desire to visit it. Certainly, its simplest competitor is email since anyone can create a list of people to send email to and then send a note just to them.
One serious downside is if you are limited to 3, 5 or 10 close friend slots, then how will someone feel if you take them off of your close friend list? It strikes me that folks should not know who is on your list, in fact they should probably not even need a note if they are no longer your close friend. They just stop getting your notes and updates. Perhaps, even, close friends can be one way just like Twitter: except instead of signing up to get someone else’s status messages, you are signing up to send someone your status messages. The limit of the number of friends you can have and the ability to block such incoming messages should cut down on spam.
What the added value is, I am still not sure.
UPDATE: A friend of mine pointed me to ASMALLWORLD. It looks like a social networking site for the rich and/or influential and bills itself as:
… the world’s leading private online community that captures an existing international network of people who are connected by three degrees of separation. Members share similar backgrounds, interests and perspectives. ASMALLWORLD’s unique platform offers powerful tools and user generated content to help members manage their private, social and business lives.
Membership to ASMALLWORLD is by invitation only, which is part of what makes this network unique, and the connections, authentic. Trusted and loyal ASW members who meet certain criteria have the privilege of inviting a limited number of their friends to the network. If you know someone with this privilege, you can ask them to invite you. If not, please be patient and continue to ask around in your own personal and professional circles.
An integrated media company, ASW is an ideal match for advertisers seeking to target the world’s tastemakers and develop heightened mindshare with this sophisticated and influential group. [bold from site]