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August 15th, 2003


I fought it. I kept hearing about “Friendster” and got invited to join, but I avoided it. It just seemed too lame.

Until I gave in and signed up, that is.

Friendster, in short, is a site that shows you a network of friends-of-friends-of-friends(-of-friends). You sign up, tell what members you’re friends with, they verify it, everyone writes something nice about each other, and the idea is you meet other people with similar interests that are some degree of separation between from you.

Sounds like a dating service, huh? I think that was its intended purpose, initially. But as a happily married man, I decided to sign up and try to see if a.) any old, old friends from elementary school had signed up and b.) if I could get back in touch with any friends-of-friends that I might happen upon while browsing my “personal network.” Neither of those things has happened in my first twelve hours, but I did experience a semi-interesting coincidence.

I recently heard from a friend from middle/high school, so when I joined Friendster, I searched for him first and added him. Later in the evening when I was searching out college friends, I realized that my middle/high school friend has a friend who has a friend that knows my college friend. Yeah, there are a few degrees of separation there, but never in my mind could I have formed a link between Apurva Dave and Rob Martin. Now I can, and in fewer degrees than with Kevin Bacon!

Check it out. Even if you’re not actively looking for someone to date, this network has really grown and morphed in purpose. It’s even got its own set of pranksters (I was thise close to making “duct tape” a friend of mine). And if you feel the desire to add me as a friend (a few Pingers are already listed), you know my name.

Posted in Technology

FROM: Robert [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday August 15, 2003 -- 7:57:58 am
Getting on your friends list last night brought me another step closer to people I hated in college. Hopefully, I'll find some good folks to offset the difference.

FROM: Chris
DATE: Friday August 15, 2003 -- 3:30:12 pm
I refuse. Anyway, its a fad that will die out soon. They tried this with back in the day didn't they?

FROM: jk
DATE: Friday August 15, 2003 -- 10:18:41 pm
I think we all need to accept the fact that we are all interconnected, period! Dave Walls and I have just two degrees between us. Freaky, no?

FROM: Rob [E-Mail]
DATE: Sunday August 17, 2003 -- 4:28:39 pm
Just further proof that you're soulmates.

FROM: jk
DATE: Sunday August 17, 2003 -- 10:59:42 pm
OK, Rob, you can be our best man.

On the other hand, I am also just two degrees away from Johnny Depp, two different ways. A friend of mine was in Cry Baby, possibly the worst movie of 1990. It was on VH1 the other day.

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday August 19, 2003 -- 10:38:55 pm
I was wondering why my ears were burning all weekend long...;p

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday August 21, 2003 -- 6:49:15 pm
Dammit, Ryan. Now you've got me signed up for this thing, after I swore I'd stay away....Oh well.

Actually, the concept of it really isnt that bad. I do have a few small things to nit-pick on it..

1) Searching for friends. I wanted to find an old radio station, so I entered the first and last name. Problem is, I got 4 matches. There are no other search criteria you can enter, other than email address, to help narrow it down. (I don't know that person's email) how can you tell if person #1 is it, or #4? You can't, unless they have a picture posted, and not all do. Makes getting started a bit of a hassle.

2) You can't look at someone's personal info, unless they are in your "personal network" (i.e. friend of a friend of a...), so browsing around for old friends doesn't work either.

I understand the concept of the site, to connect with friends and their friends, but the actual searching for friends is an absolute pain. Still, I found an old friend from YEARS ago out of the blue, so I guess it can't be all that bad.

Oh yeah, and I've got Ryan on the list too. ;p

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday August 21, 2003 -- 10:07:52 pm
And if you're searching for someone, the thumbnails they give you are like 5 pixels by 5 pixels. Very hard to tell who's who.

I imagine that's something that will improve with time... the service is, after all, still in beta.

FROM: Elizabeth
DATE: Friday August 22, 2003 -- 4:59:36 pm
A couple things on this. I believe I have a certain .. other.. pinger on my list of friendsters and he even left me a testimonial.

And, my fakester, which I had put a bunch of work into, got killed by the Friendster Police last week. How very sad. RIP, Professor Snape.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Friday August 22, 2003 -- 5:12:23 pm
I saw a great fake the other day for Stephanie from Full House.

FROM: ergy [E-Mail]
DATE: Saturday December 25, 2004 -- 9:00:57 pm

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