It’s a good question, and something that most people will have a slightly different answer to. Facebook is undoubtedly the dominant Social Network for the moment, although we’re now seeing the rise of more specialist sites such as Quora or Pinterest. When these are added to niche sites such as tripadvisor, yelp or (for Singapore) hungrygowhere, users start to have a plethora of different online personas – just as we all do in real life: work, home, in-laws house, beach, doctors-surgery, football-match, kids headmasters office, etc. etc.
My thoughts on a few popular sites below:
Hi Jeff, Nice post. For me, a FB friend is someone who I’ve shared a positive experience with in the past. It could be In-real-life or virtual, although it’s generally takes more time and interaction to build a virtual positive experience to balance the interpersonal queues that are missing versus real life (at least for now).
A Twitter connection is more about exploring interests together – which can form the basis for new friendships. It’s therefore more forward looking, if you will.
The catch all and least personal is LinkedIn – which, for me, represents a wide spectrum of contacts, from close ex-colleagues to someone I exchanged a business card with or have interacted with on a LinkedIn Group.
Finally there’s Pinterest “friends” – and I’m still working out what they are… Any thoughts?