Image representing Loïc Le Meur as depicted in...
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A year ago my friend Loic Le Meur already had 5000 friends in Facebook and was complaining that he maxed out. Indeed at the Monaco Media Forum he asked Owen who since then left Facebook why wasn´t he able to export his friends into another more “friendly” platform. At that time I considered Loic´s complaints absurd but now I am realizing that there was something to what he was saying. My efforts to filter people in Facebook are failing miserably. First I only accepted people I knew. Then I started accepting people I did not know but with whom I had many friends in common and in this way I got to hundreds of friends. Then a waiting list started accumulating of people wanting to be my friends and yesterday I declared Facebook bankruptcy and accepted everyone who was on that list and got to 1220 friends. But in a few hours I had many more requests. I guess for a blogger Facebook is another self expression platform like Twitter and less a friendship management tool. For many the only difference is that Facebook has helped move the personal stuff away from the work email platform. You manage your work in your account and your private life in Facebook that is like a complex email with all sort of messaging choices. But as I meet with Mark Zuckerberg next Monday for the Madrid Facebook Developer garage that I am hosting for him I plan to bring this up. I know he and the other Facebook managers know FB better than all of us put together but what I am beginning to miss in Facebook is better search. Facebook now for me is like a conference. It´s fun but I want to know where my close friends are and hang out with them. I want more signal and less noise. Facebook tries to give me less noise. But it should try harder.

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Jeff Pulver on October 7, 2008  · 

Last November Mark promised me that I could have at least 10,000 friends on Facebook. But when I got to 5,000 back on March 14th, I was told that I should convert my page into a fan page which is not me.

So please ask Mark when we can expect the ability to have more than 5,000 friends on Facebook.


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Jac on October 7, 2008  · 

I have a solution:

2 FB accounts: a public one and a really private (with a pseudo) 😉

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Josh Russell on October 7, 2008  · 

so think forward jsut 5 or 10 years, managing friends and the various levels of interaction with them is only going to get harder. actually i mean *real* friends, many of which are nowhere near you online.

i find it hard to communicate with people in the way that *they* want me to, it conflicts with the way i want to do it. things like friend feed are getting there, but just work to illustrate the amount of noise there could be.

i just this minute blogged something closely related to this problem, for people just learning about the social web, people who are not the alpha geek, first adopters 🙂 (and tips for brands wanting to manage and protect their online identity)

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Amelio on October 7, 2008  · 


I’ve been reading your blog for two years now and really like your openness and availability. I’m one of those friends that you accepted yesterday. Thanks for doing so.

I think the Facebook team came up with a solution for this problem a long time ago. You can just create two separate friend lists and set up different privacy settings for them. There are a bunch of options that you can personalize for each friend list, so that your blog friends and real friends “don’t see” each other.

Just make sure you include me in the “real one” ;).

Saludos desde Boston!


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Pablo Fernando Sanchez on October 7, 2008  · 

I have another solution (since I am just one person):

Create and manage lists of friends, and apply different rights to them. I already do this and it helps a lot.

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Martin Varsavsky on October 7, 2008  · 

@ Jeff Pulver:

will do Jeff! my guess is that it´s a technical limitation, the amount of traffic that is generated when you do something on FB is enormous….

Loic on October 8, 2008  · 

by the way, the pic was taken by our friend Joi, if you want to be accurate, it is not “pic by Seesmic” but by Joi Ito under of course, creative commons 🙂

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Jason Schwartzman on October 8, 2008  · 

Please tell Mark…that his latest “upgrade” has been an absolute failure in design. They should allow users to return to a single page if they like.

I do not know if it was his idea….or the idea of some geek that was hired….but they have taken what was a great minimalist single page platform that the human mind could quickly utilize……..and geeked it out beyond comprehension…the overhwhelming majority want a simple to use page….1 page. If u have the ability to speak to him in such frank candor…and don’t mind telling him..u’d be doing everyone a huge favor.

The new design is pure bad user design …it sucks.

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