Larry Brauner

We consider three ways to organize your contacts within social networking sites.

Many social networking sites let you select Top Friends and Favorites, public and private lists respectively of your most important contacts.

Visitors don’t need to click through to another page to view your Top Friends. They’re right there “on top”.

You implicitly recommend to others that they visit your Top Friends and connect with them.

Sites generally establish a maximum number of Top Friends. Therefore, as you meet new people, or as your priorities change, you may need to delete some Top Friends to make room for new ones.

Your Favorites on the other hand cannot be viewed by anybody except you. Sites do not generally establish maximums for Favorites or the maximums are large.

You can use your Favorites for your contact list, people with whom you wish to stay in touch. And when you decide that you no longer wish to re-contact a person, you simply delete them from your Favorites.

I use my Favorites list this way in Direct Matches, MySpace and Yuwie, three of my favorite networking sites, as a sort of folder.

If you prefer, you can organize your contact list in a more detailed or systematic fashion using your browser’s Bookmarking capabilities. You can save a link to each important contact’s profile page or each important blog post.

You can easily create folders and sub-folders of Bookmarks (even a sub-folder for each contact with links to his or her profiles and blog posts on multiple social networking sites).

While Bookmarking can be tedious, it offers plenty of control and flexibility.

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