Fun With Friends

After waking up from a nap dreaming about Social Graphs (ok – not really) I realized I’d never tried to integrate my Outlook contacts into “the other stuff I use on the web.”

I figured I’d start with Facebook since it’s all the rage these days.  I have 423 friends on Facebook.  I’ve been pretty careful about only accepting folks that I know (although the “Facebook friend spam” has definitely increased in the past few weeks.) 

I ran the Outlook Contacts uploaded (export your contacts to a .CSV, upload into Facebook – hmmm – smells like an opportunity.)  Facebook found 325 contacts of mine that also had Facebook accounts (via the email address.)  I then sent out automatic friend messages to all of them (although Facebook wouldn’t let me customize the message.) 

Facebook then told me that I had 3733 contacts that weren’t in Facebook and did I want to invite them in.  I declined since my 3733 contacts that aren’t used to Facebook spam don’t need it.

While there doesn’t seem to be a great way to monitor who has joined as a result of a particular invite, I just checked my recently added friends list and have four that have already accepted my request (in the eight minutes that it took me to type this post.)

Fascinating.  Plaxo is up next.

  • hey Brad, if your main contacts weren’t in outlook, but lived in gmail, aol, hotmail or yahoo mail, then can give you similar fun – across all (many) social networks. who knew I had so many friends in bebo, for example. fascinating.

  • Thanks for the invite, but I’ll decline I’m afraid 🙂

  • Brad, in four weeks of Facebook, I’m up to as many friends it took me four years to get to on LinkedIn. There’s a reason….it’s FUN! 🙂

  • Looks like about 50 new friends in the last 12 hours from the 325 invites. Pretty high hit rate for a Saturday afternoon / night.

  • Art

    Why is it that people will eagerly provide their friends’ personal information to a third party online system with a “can be changed at any time” privacy policy, but would never consider handing it over to someone over the phone?

    It’s just as invasive (actually more so) and inconsiderate.

    You’ve just given 3000+ email (and postal?) addresses to facebook that they can store and sell when they go under or get sold. And all they have to do is alter their privacy policy and post it on their web site.

    Go figure.

  • There must now be a ton of free auto-friend-invite tools for Facebook and LinkedIn out there now – my friend invites for people I don’t know have gone through the roof lately!

  • Tony Arcieri

    I’m sure you’ve seen this by now but Brad Fitzpatrick had an excellent post on building a unified, decentralized social graph: