Thursday, January 7, 2010

Strength in Numbers? Or Just Lost in a Crowd?

As much as I enjoy social networking, I know there's also a downside. For all that we connect with other people, sometimes by the hundreds, on the various sites, how many of them can we really claim to have a connection with?

On my soon-to-be-dearly-departed Ecademy account, I'm linked to over 1,000 people. Of those, maybe a dozen engage in any sort of prolonged "conversation" with me, whether initiated by them or by me. Mind you, Ecademy's business focus means it isn't technically a social networking site.

The numbers are considerably smaller on Facebook, where I have, at this moment, 238 friends and associates. But I am engaged in a higher percentage of those relationships, partly because I don't have to pay a monthly fee just to be able to send someone a message.

On Twitter, I have 385 contacts. Better than Facebook in that sense, but, like at Ecademy, there's a smaller percentage of ongoing interactions.

Which site offers the best networking experience? I'm a big believer in quality over quantity, so Facebook wins out over the other two. I like the mix of business and personal connections with a few diversions (yes, I'm a Farmville addict, recently relapsed).

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