Friday, June 1, 2012

Friends, fans, followers, family and strangers

If I  "friend" someone on Facebook, are we really friends? I don't think so.
(HT Personal Euphoria for image.)
Here's my quick pass at words to describe Internet Age relationships.
  • Friend - Someone you know personally and trust. You probably meet them in person.
  • Fan - Someone who knows and likes your work. They have given you premission to contact them, and wait eagerly to hear what you have to say. A fan is an evangelist. He or she will tell other people about your work, attend your workshops, and buy your work. You may meet them once or twice at a workshop or event, and exchange emails. Or, you may never meet them.
  • Follower - Someone who likes your work. They may or may not have given you permission to contact them. A follower might tell other people about your work. They will buy occasionally, and might subscribe to an RSS feed to keep track of what you are doing. They generally support your work. You may never meet them.
  • Family - People you are related to by birth or marriage.  
  • Stranger - All the millions and billions of people in the world. They don't know you, or your work, and they probably don't want to. Most of them have no interest in your work, and never will. It just doesn't mean anything in their lives.They have NOT given you permission to connect to or talk with them--and they never will.

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