Several times in recent weeks I’ve read blog posts horn-tooting about how the blogger had now achieved a certain number of friends on Facebook or connections on LinkedIn, and thanking their
adoring fans contacts for helping them achieve that significant milestone. “Stop the presses!” I think to myself (an unfortunately anachronistic exclamation, in this case), trying to figure out why such self-serving announcements are remotely newsworthy — particularly in light of the fact that I’m betting a goodly number of those LinkedIn folks are people you’ve never met (See my friend Cindy Butts’ rather astute take on that phenomenon here). While I subscribe to that blog for a reason (I generally get value from the blogger’s opinions and perspectives), helping him rejoice in his large number of “friends” (I use the term loosely) is not that reason. So why is he clogging my feedreader with such useless, conceited pap? Get over yourself, I want to say.
This, I think, is different from achieving a milestone in terms of number of subscribers to your blog; even magazines brag about such things. Having a large number of people read you says something about your credibility, and is worth telling (though not too often).
But friends on Facebook or connections on LinkIn? I’m sorry, but I don’t care. Unless I should care, and I’m missing the point.
Am I missing a potentially beneficial opportunity to brag about how many friends I have on LinkedIn? (148 as of this morning, including a few I don’t really know, but I didn’t want to hurt their feelings.)
So as my friend (and VAR past president) Kit Hale of Roanoke likes to say: “Help me understand…”