It's going to be less effective to write this post without using anyone's real name, but I guess you'll have to use your imagination.
LJT and I have been chatting recently about how collecting Facebook friends is a lot like collecting baseball cards. Within this circle of authors, excluding, of course, Side Bar, who hates Facebook, everyone has the Walt Clyde Frazier card the WinIt card and so forth. These gies are like having a Bobby Meacham or a Kevin Elster, no big whoop. But then when you go out and get one of the more random people in your network the joy is akin to getting a great card. And there's different levels, too.
Getting the guy who you had a bunch of classes with in high school and were friendly with but, for whatever reason, you just don't keep in touch through normal communication channels is an ok Facebook card. For purposes of this blog, let's say Yankel since he's a cool guy with a recognizable nickname. A Howard Johnson or something. On the same token, getting a good friend of a friend is no big deal. One of the Hollywoods, say. On the other hand, there are the amazing Facebook cards.
Getting the girl, for example, who you went to elementary school with, but who moved away in middle school would be a great get. The dude who went to your high school and played on the basketball team and was a couple years older than you would be a great get. You get the idea. In order to be a great Facebook card the person has to be either really obscure, someone who you wouldn't necessarily immediately equate with having the ability to use a computer for anything useful, or maybe way cooler than you but still willing to be your Facebook friend (not necessarily an issue for some Facebook users), or just a rare get for some other similar reason.
All of my recent Facebook activity has generally been geared toward acquiring good Facebook cards. And then once you acquire them you get to find out what all those people are up to, which is genuinely interesting, despite Side Bar's argument to the contrary.
On a related note, what do you think is the appropriate scale for the ratio of Facebook friends to actual friends? I, for example, have like 275 Facebook friends, and probably like 9 real life friends, three of whom are authors of this blog, and one of whom is my wife. (Think about the phrase "one of whom" for a moment. Isn't it strange? No, I'm not stoned.) That's like a ratio of 30 Facebook friends for every real life friend. My ratio is probably a little high. I wonder what the average Facebook:Real Life ratio is.