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how do you use friendster?

I've really enjoyed watching the Friendster meme percolate. I'm fascinated by its popularity, particularly amongst certain subcultures. I want to understand its spread and how/why people are using it. I would love to know your thoughts and stories. Basically, what is your relationship with Friendster? Be as descriptive as you want or feel free to address any of the questions currently on my mind:


1) How accurately does your profile reflect your identity? In what ways? What isn't reflected?

2) Are a cluster of your friends all on Friendster? Is this a particular subculture? Do you direct your profile at them and people like them?

3) Are some of your friends from distinctly separate communities of yours? Do you want them to meet each other? Are there groups that you don't want to intersect?

4) Are there people that you know that you would not want on Friendster? What role do they have to you (like mom, boss, ex, etc.)? Why wouldn't you want them there?

5) Do you ever say no to someone's friend request? Why? How does this make you feel?

6) How motivated are you to have large #s of friends? What do you do to acquire them? What about testimonials? What motivates you to leave a testimonial for someone?

7) How do you change your profile dependent on others' profile? What motivates you to change your profile or your picture?

8) How do you surf Friendster? Through the Gallery? By clicking on your friends' friends? Do you usually surf to find someone or out of curiousity? Do you limit people in your searches? Do you surf to people's websites when listed in their profile?

9) When you message people, is it usually because you are interested in dating them? What other reasons do you contact people?

10) What's the appeal of "fake" characters? Of "fake" testimonials? Why do you love/hate them? Do you report them?

11) What do you think Friendster is most useful for? How do you like to use it? What would you like to do with it?

12) Do you talk about Friendster in real life? Do you share stories about Friendster experiences? What kinds of stories do you share?

13) Are you addicted to Friendster? How? Why?

14) If you stopped using it, why?

15) What are some of the most fascinating Friendster stories you've heard?


Basically, i'm looking to understand what people love and hate about Friendster, why they use it and more importantly, how they use it so any anecdotes make me smile.

Send any notes to: friendster-survey [at] danah [dot] org or submit this form:


[For the record, i don't work for Friendster, but i'm a researcher at UC Berkeley and i look at online communities, social networks and identity management. To understand my earlier research, check out my papers.]

Note: due to a script error, i lost about two dozen email addresses. If you submitted something and wanted a response but didn't get one, please just drop me a note!