Jed Cohen

An Archive

Squidoo, Followers or Friends, and Twitter on the TV


So this is the first of my experimental series of mini-posts; just a few thoughts on some things I’ve come across recently.  As/if I write more detailed entries, I’ll insert links.

Squidoo Internship

Remember that Squidoo internship I wrote about a little while ago?  Happy to say that I was selected for it and have been working on it for the last few weeks or so.  There’s five of us; we’re a mixture of experienced Squidoo lensmasters, bloggers, left- and right-brainers.  We’re putting together a few different things now, and while they’re still in the planning phase, stay tuned!  I personally find what we’re doing is really exciting, the people I work with are incredibly engaging and remarkable, and I’m looking forward to seeing our efforts grow over the course of the next month and a half (the internship ends mid-October).

Followers versus Friends

Brazen Careerist has chosen a follower model for their (somewhat) new social network.   Instead of becoming “friends” with someone, you become their fan, and as a result all of their activity across the site is added to your feed.  It’s an interesting choice, and one that many new social networks must make.  In a follower model, you may end up with all sorts of skewed network dynamics (some might say weak ties if they span interest groups) due to the single sided nature of the relationships.  On the other hand, you have the reciprocity principle driving people to follow back and complete the two way relationship – something that defeats the point of establishing a one-way relationship network.  Brazen Careerist is not LinkedIn, and it of course serves a different function.  But I wonder how Brazen Careerist’s network will grow given this one-way relationship, and what we will be able to learn from comparing it to LinkedIn.

Fringe “Tweet-peat”

I watched the “Tweet-peat” of Fringe on Fox last night (I happen to like the show), and it’s an interesting concept.  They had a number of producers and cast members responding to viewer questions and providing thoughts throughout the show, which they both broadcast on @FRINGEonFOX and over the airing of the episode on the TV.  It’s an interesting blending of new media and old.  I’ve seen this done before, like with Current TV’s election coverage, but it’s nice to see the larger networks hopping on the bandwagon.  One thing though: they only broadcast the tweets of the producers and cast on the TV, so it was like listening to half a conversation.  It would have been much better had they put the questions and answers up, so we could follow along.  Or better yet, they could also have had a streaming version of the episode so we wouldn’t have to watch two screens to get the whole picture – it was a bit distracting.  There’s another tweet-peat tonight of Glee, which I actually don’t plan on watching, but I wonder if they’ll take the lessons they learned from last night and apply them tonight.

Written by Jed

September 4th, 2009 at 12:05 pm

  • Hi Jed,

    I've been thinking about the friend vs. follower thing a lot too…Obviously because we implemented it on Brazen Careerist despite most other professional network models out there.

    What I hope it does is make it easier for people to connect and share ideas. When I go to LinkedIn I get frustrated w/ how difficult it is to connect with people. Sometimes I need to be introduced, etc…This is intimidating, especially for young professionals with limited networks.

    And don't get me wrong, LinkedIn is great for a lot of things and inspires us a lot at Brazen Careerist. Still, there are a lot of needs professionally that have yet to be met!

    Thanks for writing this post. It got me thinking.


  • carnivore1

    The tweet-peat was MEGA annoying.

  • Thank you for the comment Ryan. It's absolutely awesome when someone
    from a company I write about takes the time to read over my thoughts
    and reply.

    I think that you're absolutely right in that a follower model works
    better to share ideas, but I wonder if it makes stronger connections.
    There are so many people on Twitter that just follow back, and this
    behavior doesn't encourage stronger ties. After all, when all we hear
    is noise, we tune it out. On the other hand, Facebook was started as
    a way to carry over relationships from the real world to the digital
    space. This too has it's issues, however, as I remember getting friend
    requests from several people in my freshman class that I had never met
    before – and who had friended me along with the rest of the class.

    LinkedIn's super privacy protection can be a bit over the top, I
    agree. But I wonder if what we (and by “we” I mean a social network)
    need to develop is a two tiered system, where you can friend those
    people you want to develop a relationship with and follow those you
    don't? I'm not too sure how this would work, but it's irrational to
    expect that everyone you follow will want to form a deep connection
    with you.

    The trick I suppose is to develop a system that allows for both
    friends and followers, while not confusing users. It may not be
    possible, but it would be interesting to try.


  • Mashable agrees with you. I didn't think it was completely unwatchable, but then again I spent a good portion of the episode staring at my computer – making the whole idea a bit pointless.