apologies in advance on twitter "friend" requests


Because I really like Twitter, and am using it as a way to keep better connected with people I already have at least somewhat strong connections with, I'm not going to be accepting friend requests from people that I don't have a relationship of some kind with already. That means, in most cases, you have to be someone I've met in real life and had a conversation with, or that I have a long history of online interaction with.

If I don't accept your request, it's not a repudiation of you personally; it's simply an acknowledgment that I don't think we're really close enough for either of us to have all that much interest in the minutiae of everyday life.


Liz -

I was wondering how you would handle the multitude of requests you would probably get given your wide readership. :-)

When I followed the link based on your description, I immediately thought, "Now how many people would you really want to know what you were doing." I think it's an interesting area to explore because there are some more geographically distant folks you might be willing to include but, on the other hand, there are folks (ie maybe in the same office) that you might not want to have this particular bit of info about where in the world is Liz today and what is she doing?

I imagine you've already worked on thinking through how we define our virtual personal boundaries. I'd be interested in hearing more on that when you have a chance. One thing I'm curious about is that as friends and/or friendships chang IRL, how do make that adjustment online without making someone feel literally shut out. Or should that be an accepted part of the game given a particular project you're working on, where you've moved, etc. ???

I think teens are already much better at navigating those boundaries than we are--I'm looking forward to seeing the results of danah's current ethnographic research.

As for me, it's a really tough boundary to negotiate. On most systems I've chosen to be very unrestrictive on access--my blog is public and not anonymous, my IM is easy to guess, my email addresses are published. But for Twitter, because I really *like* it (and am not just researching it), I'm drawing the line a little more tightly. I don't particularly want my colleagues and students following the daily details of my life.

I had this problem on Orkut (remember Orkut?). Suddenly I was asked to be a "friend" when that wasn't a space I wanted to occupy with that person. Talk about awkward. Or I was simply too visible.

I signed up with Twitter but it has not made me all a-twitter. Perhaps that will come.

The value of Twitter--as with any social software tool, really--depends on network effects. If the people you care about aren't using it, it's hard to care about the tool. (Think IM, for instance.) For me, Twitter is already populated with people I know and miss hearing from, so it works beautifully. For Gerald, in contrast, there's really no appeal.

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This page contains a single entry by Liz Lawley published on March 7, 2007 1:02 PM.

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