I've been getting a lot of requests for friends on various social networks lately. You probably have been too - there seems to be an explosion of interest lately, particularly on Twitter.
I'm generally encouraged by this, as it means that the space is continuing to grow, rather than to wane like some short-lived fad. But at the same time, it can make life a little more complex or cluttered if you're not ready to deal with it.
As such, I thought this might be a good time for me to share how I think about my social networks and how I consider friend requests in each. I've linked to my profile in each, if you'd care to connect with me on them.
Ah, Facebook. One of the most visible and recognized brands in the social networking space, where "friend" is a verb. For me, Facebook is a combination of business and social contacts.
I'll immediately accept a friendship request if I know you or follow you on another network. But that's not to say I'm exclusive in my friending. If we don't know each other, just introduce yourself and - most importantly - give me some context as to how you know me.
I use LinkedIn as my professional social network. Like the old three-ring binders of business cards that I kept, LinkedIn is my real-time virtual collection of business cards.
As you can imagine, my requirements for LinkedIn are a bit more stringent. If you'd like to connect with me on LinkedIn, we should have met or at least have had some meaningful interaction. I'll also accept introductions via people I know.
Twitter is probably the loosest of all of my networks. I generally like connecting with more people there because I enjoy the exchange of ideas, links and quick personal interaction that it allows.
While there are some people who add absolutely everyone back, I can't keep up with the pace and consider some of them spammy. Since there have been a good number of new followers, I'm having trouble adding some back. If you follow me and I haven't followed you back, don't take it personally. Just get my attention by sending me an "@" message and I'll be sure to add you back. It's as simple as that.
I hope this post was a helpful insight about how I consider friend requests in each network. I'd be interested to know how you handle your own connections on your various social networks. Please leave a comment and educate me.
Image courtesy of coldtaxi