Are You a Contactomaniac?


I’m curious about other flickr users behaviors… When you get an email notice that someone has seleted you as a contact, do you:

* immediately accept (“I want to be friends with everybody”)
* check out their photos first (“Oh my gawd, they collect photos of ________!”)
* wait a while (“I am trying to get some work done!”)
* delete and ignore (“Eww, yuck, people!”)

I almost thought about titling this, “Are You a Contact Whore?” but that’s a bit tawdry, eh?

The reflex is usually one of “Ahh, that makes my ego feel niiiiice, ooooh, more please”, and to take action right away. If I cannot tell who it is (which is hard form flickr user names), I do check them out, but nearly always I reciprocate.

Yup, I might be a Contact ______.

But this FOAF (Friend of a Friend) concept is an underlying thread to tools I’ve gotten addicted to– not just the ego stroking, but the power that comes from making connections with people you both know and don’t know, and more so, using their network as a farther reach of your own.

And you really do not find anything like this in typical “educational” software, eh?

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as @cogdog@cosocial.ca


  1. I use contacts rather judiciously. It’s not “I’ve seen this person’s photos” to me, it’s more “I know this person”. Especially combined with the access permissions associated with having a Friend in Flickr, it seems reckless to grant Contact status to anyone that can click a link. 40,000 contacts? Really? I don’t have that many in real life, never mind the subset of people I’d consider Contacts that also have Flickr accounts…

    There’s a similar concept in Facebook, but I think it also gets overused to the point that it’s meaningless. Elgg has a similar thing, too, but I don’t know how well it gets used/abused.

  2. I’m of the “check out their photos first, and then… wait a while”. Conveniently most of the people who add me as a contact seem to take good photos, so they ended up being added.

  3. I’m a comment whore. You’re brave for using that word on your blog .. everytime I use words like that I get trackback porn spam. Yuck.

    But, I’ve been wondering about that same issue lately. I’m not a contact whore in flickr because the more contacts you have, the less efficient if you use your contacts for any type of communication purpose. (Although there is a flickr tool that lets you easily navigate contacts similar to the flickrleech) Case in point, I used some of my contacts for my recently successful widget fundraising campaign.

    Anyway, to answer your question … I look at their photos, if I know them, I make them a contact/friend. If I don’t them, but after looking at their profile they appear to work for nonprofit, edtech, library tech, etc., I’ll make them a contact.

    There was a bit a research recently about how many contacts your brain can handle .. 150 was the number. It was in a roundup of posts on the topic of “Social media burnout”

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