Here’s a special guest post by Corvida. If you’re not already subscribed to her blog, you should be.
Decreasing Connections While Increasing Our Networks
While lounging on my couch this morning I decided to go through all 200 Twitter and FriendFeed requests that I’ve procrastinated on getting to this week. Lately I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed with requests that I’ve created a filter in Gmail to label and archive these requests. When I clicked on the label and took a cursory glance at my inbox, I wondered why I’d been feeling so overwhelmed with going through these requests. After about 10 minutes it hit me: as my network grows social networks don’t allow me to connect to my followers the way I used to.
It Was All A Dream
Let me take you back for a second. When I first began to gain notoriety, I only had a handful of Twitter followers. Definitely no more than 400. At that time I would tweet good morning and get several responses back. I would reply to each response and hold about 4 conversations at once on Twitter. This was the reason why I tweeted so much. It was much easier to hold a conversation and keep up with individual people. I knew who the majority of my followers were, thereby enabling me to utilize Twitter to its maximum potential. I was able to connect, refer, analyze, and reflect on what I was getting from my followers. Things just aren’t the same anymore.
Back To Reality
Now, I couldn’t tell you who half of my followers are. I really don’t know who I’m following and who I’m not following. I don’t even know why certain people are following me. In turn, my conversation on Twitter has deteriorated along with the amount of time I used to spend on Twitter.
Maybe growth on some of these networks isn’t the best thing in the world. Should there be self-imposed limits on how many people you befriend? No because in the end, while your network growth may increase, your connection with your network still increases. However, the rate at which the connection can increase actually decreases. Did that make sense? Unless your friends are constantly questioning you or keeping tabs on you, it’s going to take a lot longer to make deeper connections the more your network grows.
More Features or Better Tools?
Though there are plenty of social networks to go around, I’m beginning to wonder if they incorporate the right tools to be able to keep up with our growing networks. We don’t have a clue on where to begin to make deeper connections as our networks continue to grow. In turn, things may just get out of hand. You start adding people just because they added you with no desire to establish a real relationship with anyone that you haven’t already befriended beforehand. Here are my questions for the developers and users of social networks:
- How do you maintain connections with your network of friends?
- What features or tools help you to maintain these connections?
- What features or tools are missing that you feel could help you to grow your connections even more?
What do you think?