The New York Times (yes, I enjoy reading a paper newspaper in the morning over coffee) has an interesting article today, Friends, Until I Delete You. It was about protocols, or the lack thereof, regarding dropping / unfriending / blocking / unfollowing / defriending people on Facebook (and by default even on Twitter, my primary networking hub, as well as rss feeds and blogrolls). Getting a free Whopper from Burger King aside, this issue will only grow in discussion as the general trend toward Managing Multimembership increases.
I used to accept all invitations, though find it increasingly difficult to keep up and communicate with the people who I am really interested in following and engaging in ongoing discussions. Currently, I do not accept all invitations in Facebook or even return following in Twitter. Let’s face it, if I have not spoken to somebody since high school or college or for ten years, is there much evidence I really want to suddenly start now? There are often reasons why we lose touch (as well as some good reasons for begining again, I suppose).
I often do accept if the person appears interesting, but tastes and needs and wants do change and develop over time.
Don’t get me wrong, this issue is not necessarily a personal one; it is more a recognition that I have limited time and resources. I am simply not able or interested in following or reading people who, ultimately, do not meet the WIIFM? (What’s In It For Me?) factor. Very subjective, but then again what isn’t? (Ahh, I love qualitative research!)
I wish I have more time and energy, but there is a limit. Thus, instead of my own focusing on particulars about unfriending, I prefer to focus on following those who really make a difference in my life, work, and research.
This will be on the SCoPE page, and it is used by clicking the right-triangle button on the image, which is the traditional “start” button for videos. It will then begin with Bronwyn Stuckey, who asked the question, and then continue with other people who added their voices to the conversation.
In a succinct way, multimembership refers to being a member of several social networking environments, communities, platforms, and technologies at once. You know, I blog here and Tweet there and participate in Facebook over there (among many others); but how do I manage all this?
Want to participate before the session itself formally begins? If so, consider taking our quick and painless online survey so we can get some data to share with the participants when we begin in another week and a half.
Did I mention our online Multimembership discussion is free, thanks to the support of SCoPE? Please, invite your friends—there is wisdom and power in the network!
While I have been trying to catch up with my electronic life, some times it takes something a little more proactive to help move the issue along. As a teacher, I learned long ago that the best way to learn something is to prepare and then actively teach it.
Nothing could be more professionally and personally useful, then, than the upcoming SCoPE and FOC08 discussion I am co-facilitating: Managing Multimembership in Social Networks. Working with my colleagues Sylvia Currie, Bronwyn Stuckey, and Sue Wolff, we have all struggled with this in our lives, and thought that sharing our experiences and what we learned may in fact benefit others or at least raise more questions in the process (hey, what else are educators for?)!
Sylvia has summarized our intentions, and in the true spirit of community I will point interested readers to her work and will not reinvent the wheel (round, turns, already works, and the like). I will thus add one thought–how will we have time to prepare to coherently discuss this?