May 31, 2004

Social Networks Get Strange

First they were cute, then slighly annoying. Then I ignored them. Then Orkut came along and we collected baseball cards. Then I ignored Orkut. Then Orkut spammed the people I invited, but hadn't responded to my first invite, but didn't ask me if I wanted everyone re-spammed. Then they sent me notes telling me how many people had joined my network, post-spam, and how many had joined my friend's lists, etc. Then I started getting "requests" to accept people's invitations to link to them on Orkut, but the personal notes they typed into the email were coercive, and kind of heavy handed, especially since I'd never met them, didn't know them, and wouldn't link to them normally.

So what now? We know that explicit linking is problematic, because people link for various "soft" reasons, to people they may not know, because they don't want to cut off future potential relationships, or they know of them, or they all have different definitions of what it means to "know" someone, etc. But does this mean we add the category of being forced into it? I mean, I could say no to those people, but is that inviting a lot of bad blood? Geez. It was just for fun, people.

Posted by Mary Hodder at May 31, 2004 09:07 PM | TrackBack

Was it? Was it just for fun?

Posted by: xian at June 1, 2004 12:13 PM