Free Download of the Day: Friendster

Free Download of the Day: Friendster

Keep in touch with friends and make new ones with a service that’s like six degrees of separation online.
By Sarah Lane

Editor’s note: TechTV’s fabulous four, Sarah, Jessica, Cat, and Morgan, crashed the very first Friendster party a few days ago and we have the exclusive video. See what happens when online “friends” interact in the real world. It’s geeks gone wild!

So I don’t want to sound like I’m way too popular or anything, but sometimes I feel like I have too many friends. Don’t get me wrong, I love each and every one of them. I have the world’s best friends.

But there aren’t enough hours in the day to give lots of friends the same kind of attention. I’m constantly feeling guilty about neglecting to call someone I should have called last week… or staying home instead of grabbing a drink with a buddy. Do you ever feel that way?

That’s why I love Friendster. It’s one of the most creative online ways I’ve found to keep in touch with friends while simultaneously introducing your friends to friends and making your social circle grander every day!

Here’s how it works

Sign up, fill out your profile, and add a nice little avatar for your pic. If you’ve been invited by someone, that person automatically becomes your friend. If not, you can ask to add someone as your friend provided that person is actually your friend. If they aren’t, they have the option to reject your request to add them to your group. Of course, a real friend wouldn’t do that, so you have nothing to worry about. 😉

Here’s where it gets fun

Once you’ve successfully added a friend, their friends become your friends. Well, not exactly your friends per se, but their information becomes available to you and they show up as New People in your network (kinda like acquaintances). And just like the real world, a few friends equal tons of acquaintances. For example, at the time of this writing I have five friends and 23,207 people in my Personal Network. Wow!

Six degrees of Sarah Lane

One fun game involves clicking on people in my Personal Network and figuring out how I’m loosely connected to them. Example: I know Maly who knows Steven who knows Grant who knows Flank. Of course I probably wouldn’t ever know Flank unless I knew Maly. But now he’s a little more than a stranger to me. I now have the option to contact Flank directly, or ask one of my connections to introduce me. Pretty civilized, huh?

Another feature I really like involves searching my Personal Network through keywords on my own profile. Example: I love Hunter S. Thompson and say so in my “favorite books” section. If I click on that, Friendster searches my network and retrieves other profiles that mention HST. So not only do all these people know somebody who knows somebody who I know, but we now have a common interest!

Friendster can be used for dating purposes, but also has options for those in relationships who aren’t looking for much more than activity partners and new buddies. I really like this site. You can play six degrees of Kevin Bacon with yourself.

Start using Friendster

Your friend,

P.S. Be sure to let me know what you think about Friendster in the Talkback section below.

Originally posted May 19, 2003

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