A Breakdown of My Facebook Friends

You know you are a nerd when you spend your New Year's Day eve classifying all of your Facebook friends into sub-groups using the site's new(ish?) “Friend List” option.

I didn't put a lot of thought into my classification scheme so it's a bit random and not the most accurate thing in the world but basically, I tried to lump people into different time periods in my life.  I've got somewhere around 600 friends on Facebook and it breaks down roughly like this…

147 – FIMS (my biggest grouping by far and I debated dividing this category into
“people who started before me”, “people in my cohort” and “people who
came after” as that's how I tend to mentally categorize FIMSers in my
head already.)

96 – IHHS (basically anyone I knew in any of my K-12 schooling plus a random assortment of other people I know from Indian Head – teachers, parents, etc.)

50 – People I Don't Know (a rather large group, mostly comprised of
people who contacted me after I created a group for people from
Saskatchewan when I first joined Facebook.  At that time, Facebook was
still restricted to people with University e-mail accounts only so I
was looking for a way to find people to connect to beyond the six
people I knew in real life who also happened to be on Facebook.  There
are also probably some people on this list that I do “know” but have
forgotten how I know them – via their blog or a brief encounter
at a conference or whatever so they'd technically better fit in the
other category I used – “Unclassified”.  But if I didn't remember *anything* about them, I stuck them here.)

41 – Alberta Writers (again, perhaps a bit misleading as I lump in
anyone I met through my work with the Writers Guild of Alberta
including booksellers, aspiring writers, media types, etc.)

37 – Sask Librarians (truth be told, one of my main purposes in creating these lists was to
simplify the inviting of people to my “Books to Beers” social events.  I can invite people who belong to the “Sask Librarians” group on Facebook but not everyone on my Friends list who is a librarian in Regina is a member of that group so this may help.  Or it may just mean I end up double-spamming people – er, I gotta think this through a bit more!)

34 – U of R (basically anyone I met through undergrad.  I was a bit surprised that this number was so low – I don't think I was shyer back then – probably just harder to find/remember people from over a decade ago.)

31 – Librarians (another catch-all for anyone I know who's a librarian
but didn't go to FIMS and/or doesn't work in Saskatchewan)

24 – Unclassified (One obvious category I realised I missed was “People I Met
While On A Semester Exchange in England” which would be about 6-10 of the people
in this group.  The rest are a scattering of people I knew very briefly
– played hockey with for a year, served on a board with, stuff like

23 – Family (both my own and Shea's family members which again, I
debated dividing into two categories to make it easier if, for example,
I wanted to send out some news to only the Hammond side of the family
or whatever.)

21 – Sask Publishers/Writers (anyone I met during my first job after University and including not just writers and publishers but anyone else I know from the cultural sector)

15 – Shea (people I've met through Shea)

13 – Library Related (the icky mess of how to classify people who work in libraries but aren't professional librarians – a distinction that's useless most of the time but does occasionally have its purposes – so I made this group for paraprofessionals and others who work in libraries but not as professional librarians.  Note to self: finish that quiz on “Are you a degree snob?” soon!)

12 – Spouses (sort of a weird one – people who are spouses of my friends.  This makes them my friends too but for example, the spouse of someone I went to high school with but who they married ten years later doesn't really fit in my “high school” category so I stick them here instead.)

11 – Celebs (mostly musicians I know and/or am a fan of.  Interesting
thing about perspective – on my writers lists, I have some people who
would be considered “celebrities” by many people but having lived in
that world, they're just people, just as I'm sure musicians and media
personalities are “just people” to others in those worlds.)

10 – Fredheads – people I know via the online fan community for musician Fred Eaglesmith.

9 – Publishers (people who work in publishing but not in Alberta or Saskatchewan)

8 – SRL (why I created a category for people I know via Southeast Regional Library but not Regina Public is anyone's guess)

Man, I put way too much time and thought into this, didn't I???  I also know there are probably some duplicates – people who I've put on both the “FIMS” list and the “Sask Librarians” list.  There are 1-2 people I know who have two profiles on Facebook for whatever reason and a couple organizations that have profiles rather than the more appropriate fan pages.  Otherwise, an interesting exercise to sort of map your “digital friends” this way. 

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  1. From Head Tale - Facebook and Our Social Clusters on 21 Jul 2013 at 8:07 pm

    […] tried to analyse my own Facebook “clusters” long ago and found I had 14 identifiable “groups” of […]

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