My name is Saul! I'm an award winning Word of Mouth Marketer, Professional Speaker on the subjects of Social Media, Customer Service and best of all... Word of Mouth. I collect Air Force One sneakers and think you should hire me... (as a consultant) to teach you how to get your company doing interesting things!
the smartest man in the world.

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Photos from the Drupal Conference in San Francisco, CA 2010

Wednesday, Apr 04, 2008
3

Some of my best friends are imaginary!


Got friends? If so, sharing is caring -->


I am a little burned out with Facebook…you know that social network where you connect with friends and send cool things to their super wall!

I have felt this way for a while since Twitter entered my life and I pretty much only use Facebook for birthday reminders and to look at pictures of people I know.

I bring this up because last night at CaseCamp there was an interesting presentation by Jill Golick who is a screen writer and has been experimenting with online storytelling. In her presentation she kinda spilled the beans on the fact that she had created a few imaginary characters on Facebook and had been using Facebook as a medium to tell these characters stories.

One of the characters was named Ali Barret (shown below and as of today no longer exists on Facebook)

and I have to admit I was her friend. I accepted her request for a few reasons:
1- she was friends with a bunch of my friends
2-when I got the invite I checked her profile and she was ranting about her vaginal discomfort after hooking up with a guy. I am a sucker for girls with vaginal discomfort and thought maybe just having me as a Facebook friend would sooth her irritation and finally…. 3-I pretty much accept anyone who sends me an invite because like I mentioned above, Facebook just isn’t a big deal to me anymore and I am just happy to have friends.

After Ali and I became lifelong pals I pretty much forgot about her because I just don’t spend much time on Facebook and it takes more then a little irritated vagina talk to keep coming back for more, but that being said I was very interested by the reaction to the presentation. More than a few people were genuinely upset by the misrepresentation and it got me thinking……

In this new day and age where every part of your life is public and you will be lucky if you can keep embarrassing secrets off the Internet it was refreshing to see people upset because they were mislead. People value online relationships and there is a feeling of trust involved in them.

An online friend can be someone you share more experiences with then a real world friend and once someone comes in and violates that space people get an uneasy feeling. The reactions last evening were genuine and authentic and that is sort of what this new (web 2.0) Internet is supposed to be all about!

Response
  1. Feh!

    The poor dears that are upset by these sorts of things are little more than passive aggressive attention whores.

    Or are they that frickin’ stupid to think that friending someone or being friended is ‘real’?

    C’mon Saul, let’s not make too much of these online relationships. I bet these nutjobs probably feel their favorite celebrities are their friends, too.

    And I’d bet the majority of these kooks have cats.

  2. I like to think that I’m one of your imaginary friends, too, Saul. Thanks for the post. 🙂

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