If you are on Facebook, and an increasing percentage of you are, chance are likely that you get asked to link with someone as a friend all the time. But what do you do when someone you do not know asks to be your friend?
For me, this is very difficult. I try very hard to be accessible to people, particularly if they share my passion for blogging and social media. I also understand the power of the network and that the more nodes you have the more "influence" you have.
But to me, calling someone a "friend" is a form of endorsement. It tells others that I say you are okay. Chances are likely that you are, but I have no way of knowing that, particularly if you requested we be FB friends, without sending a note explaining how we connect or why you want to be my friend.
Every time this has happened, I have sent people a note, thanking them for the request and asking how we connect. Nearly half of these notes go unanswered and I delete the request. That's easy for me.
The other half is more difficult and I have found three times that I choose to make someone a friend:
1. If you connect with several people who i consider close and real friends. I sometimes ping this mutual associate to find out if he or she really knows you. Then I'll make you a friend.
2. If we've never met, but I know who you are by your blog, your job, your online communities or even your photos, I will make you a friend.
3. If you reply to my note and say something that is authentic and appeals to me. For example, I'm a sucker for college students who have read my book.
Of course, all this angst takes time. So I am posting this so that I can link to it and send it when someone requests an FB friendship. Heh. It will even send a little traffic my way.