Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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The Meaning of Friend

For all of time people have had their own definitions. The meaning of a word like friend is not universal. A friend to me might be someone I call at least five times a week, while you might call that guy you met once in third grade a friend. Before the internet this wasn’t really a problem. However you defined friend was fine by me.

All of a sudden social networking sites came along and friend became a verb.The action part was much more important than the adjective. Everything was cool until Friendster decided to define the social meaning of friend as well. A friend could not be a made up person or object. That, along with incredibly slow service, sunk the site.

Now Facebook seems to be repeating the mistake.


September 11, 2006