Danah Boyd, of the School of Information Management & Systems at the University of California, Berkeley , is (as far as I am aware) the first person to define the term "friendster whore". She is researching Friendster and other social networks tools, trying to understand how people present their digital identity, negotiate social contexts and articulate their relationships.

Her definition, which I have adopted, is taken from her blog Connected Selves, September 1, 2003:

"Friendster whores - people who simply collect as many people as possible"

(for further information about Danah's work please see the post for October 11th below, or visit her blog apophenia)

Update: Rich from the #friendster IRC network states that he came up with the term back in February (see his post below, Oct. 21st)

Thursday, February 26

ATTENTION: This Weblog is now officially closed... 

I have imported all its entries into my MoveableType blog, as I live the questions, and any further comments on all matters friendsterish may be found there :-) ...


Friday, February 13

Three million friendsters...yawn... 

I don't know whether I should cheer for myself for hitting 3 million, or feel sorry for myself for engaging on this futile endeavour in the first place... God what a waste of time and energy.

Wednesday, February 11

Oh my God! 

"You are connected to 2,961,800 people in your Personal Network, through 323 friends. "
Highest ID number in the New People display: Ann-Marie (5974231) * 0.93 = 5,556,035
Percentage of total friendsterspace covered by personal network: 53% (holding steady :-)

I got this message on tribe.net...Oh my God, now I've become a social software consultant!

Tuesday, February 3

Stop the rumours...and this time we really, REALLY MEAN it!!! 

"You are connected to 2,864,277 people in your Personal Network, through 317 friends."
Highest ID number in the New People display: Steve (5786720) * 0.93 = 5,381,650
Percentage of total friendsterspace covered by personal network: still hanging in there at 53%...

Do I detect a certain note of desperation creeping into this?

Monday, February 2

61 and 71 

danah boyd asked me to check how many friendsters gave their (underage) ages reversed: "61" (16) and "71" (17). The answer: surprisingly few (I bet most of them just lie and say they're 18):

61: only 821 out of a total of 2,809,843
71: just 665 out of 2,836,990

(I did the samples at different times whenever Gallery stayed up long enough to give a result :-)

Thirty-something Friendsters 

Well, the Friendster Gallery was up again (temporarily), and out of 2,854,447 friendsters:

53,054 were age 30
42,08p were age 31
34,044 were age 32
31,411 were age 33
25,397 were age 34
18,163 were age 35
13,348 were age 36
10,667 were age 37
8,537 were age 38
and 7,033 were age 39

The numbers fall dramatically as the age rises.... In fact, overall it sorta looks like the age distribution chart on the LiveJournal.com Statistics page.

Sunday, February 1

Twenty-something Friendsters 

"You are connected to 2,826,915 people in your Personal Network, through 316 friends."
Highest ID number in the New People display: Ann (5749146) * 0.93 = 5,346,706
Percentage of total friendsterspace covered by personal network: 53%

Frankly, the Friendster Gallery feature has been up and down like a Bangkok whore.

Taking advantage of a (temporary) period when the Gallery was working, and following up on some earlier work, I was able to get some more age-based statistics. (At the time I took these counts, the total size of my Friendster personal network was 2,845,859.)

206,269 were age 23
179,599 were age 24
152,687 were age 25
128,358 were age 26
106,454 were age 27
85,710 were age 28
and 69,027 were age 29

Notice how quickly the numbers drop by age. Unfortunately, Gallery went down again before I could get similar figures for ages 18-22 to compare. But it's clear that Friendster should be renamed Youngster :-)

Friday, January 30

Good Question... 

How many social networks are too many?
I'd say we passed that point a looong time ago...

© Copyright 2003 Ryan Schultz.

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