Paul Chenoweth coins a type of social media person, The Collectors.
Collectors seem to be obsessed with acquiring the most friends/followers or network connections (depending upon the terminology within a particular online site). I know many of these individuals from several years of participation and research within online communities. Their rationale for connecting (their term) varies but tends to follow one of several patterns:
The individual with the most connections is somehow the best person you should connect to (quantity trumps quality)
- The perception that an individual’s ranking (by quantity of connections) equates to brand value within the community (quantity equals name recognition)
- Competitive team power is derived from the size of one’s list of connections (my team is bigger than your team)
- Huge following numbers can translate into increased ‘sucker-link’ traffic to other sites and financial gain (playing the percentages)
- Social Network Gamers who could actually care less about the intended purpose for a site but simply get a thrill by figuring out how to game the highest scores/rankings/numbers.