I’m sorry, but I don’t care.

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…”

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6 Responses to I’m sorry, but I don’t care.

  1. Actually, I think the numbers are “interesting” (not valuable) only in the respect that it shows the level of interaction or activity that one may have with that particular application. Facebook or Twitter followers simple tell me that people are finding you. If I am using social media to build a business, I may want to see what you’re doing to get your follower and “friends” levels up.

    Frankly… I think we should remove the social media references and replace it with production levels. Why do agents think it’s necessary to blog or advertise that they are a multi-million dollar producer? In a lot of our areas, that means that you sold four houses. Using the “average” commission formula, you’re still well below poverty line with the income from being a “multi-million dollar producer.” Congrats! You’re still poor…and can’t afford to stay in the business.

  2. Personally, the only reason that I see to promote your contacts is to ACTUALLY PROMOTE your contacts. If you want to say that you made a connection with someone via some social network as a means of sharing what you’ve learned, or promoting them to your particular sphere, that’s fine. As far as simply promoting numbers goes, I’m with Matt. It tells you about as much as sales volumes.

  3. Jay says:

    I agree completely. I play with facebook a lot now –mostly on the personal side–and some realtor in the area keeps asking me to be his friend over and over. I’ve never met the guy and know nothing about him. He seems to want to have a huge number of “friends”. Annoying me to death–haha

  4. My new facebook philosophy is quality over quantity. This is the reason I (and quite a few of my friends) have or have had more than one profile. Using your friend count to make yourself look like the coolest kid online is very….well….amatuer/HIGH SCHOOL! I’d rather brag about the type of people that are on my list not the numbers. Which means, you need good references (that come from either my own personal experience or your affiliation with someone I respect) to make it on my list. “Meeting” ppl just for numbers sake is a waste of energy and those that do it only fuel the arguments of social media critics.

  5. Jeff Royce says:

    If my kids bragged to their friends on the playground about how many friends they had I would just tell them that is a good way to make sure you have no friends. Our online contacts are only “good” if there are real relationships behind them, and if there are real relationships, this kind of bragging is just out of place. It makes me want to reduce the number of friends the person has by one.

  6. I did a humorous post on AR about my dog having more friends on Facebook than I do, and then I took on the contrarian view of why even be on Facebook, etc. detailing that I have actually goten business and naming specific instances to show the value to some “Active Rain only folks” but I do try to stay away from I have X contacts on x network type post, really – who cares?

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