Since the power of social networks lie in the amplification of world-of-mouth, my first reaction to the prospect of anyone removing 10 people out of their network was a bit negative as I felt this was severing channels of potentially powerful communication.
But then I started thinking about the whole notion of signal-to-noise ratio. There comes a tipping point where it’s difficult to keep up with our increasing number of virtual friends or followers. This tweet from Mitch Joel says it all: “Just realizing how many people I follow whose tweets I never See. Welcome to Twitter overload.”
Is there a risk that the power of social media will become a bit more like mass media? Until we’re all friends with each other, I don’t think that will be the case, but it is a good time to look at quality over quantity in order to have richer conversations with fewer people and therefore a much higher amplification potential of your conversation.
As I learned yesterday, Facebook seems to understand this. Apparently your newsfeed items are only broadcast to a small percentage of your friends – those with whom Facebook deems you have the closest relationships based on your interactions with them over time.
It’s certainly one way to help manage “info flood” and I guess addresses my original concern around deleting Facebook friends. Now who knew this was all possible because of a Whopper?