What do you call your "Friends?"

Hi! I'm still figuring all this out, and have a question for you all:

On your site(s), what do you call your "Friends?" Did you switch to "Following/Followers?" "Collegues?" Something else? Do you require confirmation, or reciprocal relationships? What led you to make these choices?

Any input as to what works for people would be greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance!

  • most social networks are following the "follow me" trend. facebook, on the other hand, was just like myspace with the "request friendship" method. then they started doing the "follow" option alongside requesting friendship. 

    basically just do whatever works for you. i'm still using the default elgg "add friend" without the friend request plugin

  • Thanks! But I remember seeing some comments once, one person said he'd renamed Friends to Contacts, one had another idea... But I can't remember what the original post was about and can't find it.

    To me there are pros and cons to both words, Friends and Followers, and I'm curious what different solutions other people have come up with.

    So you / your users like the default? That is good to know. Thanks!


  • I've done a bunch of sites that have done different things - friends, following, contacts - it all depends on preference and the context of the site.

  • Friends = when persons add one another by mutual consent. It can be called friends or buddies or anything, best left to be decided by site admin with a configurable/editable name

    Following = is basically not by mutual consent, though I may disallow  following in total or cancel or allow someone following me

    Friends = Friends (Facebook) = Circles (Google Plus) usually can be regrouped into various subgroups like relatives, batchmates, office workers etc which is visible only to me
    On the other hand Followers may not have such grouping system.

  • Thanks. So Matt, you're saying there are no real "Best Practices" - whatever works for your group is "best." 

    Kanha - you feel Friends should ALWAYS be reciprocal? (Buddies is a good word, too:) Under what circumstances would you want to turn off the concept of Following/Friends? Do you mean as an Admin, or as a User? As much as I agonize over this relationship thing, I wouldn't want to do away with it! 

    Ah, Friends. Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

    I too have found, in explaining Elgg, that the Google Circles analogy is more easily understood than comparing it to FB or Twitter.

    Thanks again for your input! I appreciate your help & time!

  • I use them as contacts in a contactbook (with friend request) and I use Matt's following plugin next to it to 'just' follow them.