Last year, some people friended each other on Goodreads to avoid losing touch if BL vanished unexpectedly. I know a lot of people have duplicate friends and aren’t bothered by it, but it bothers me. When I see duplicate posts on my feeds, I start scrolling faster and skimming more. Sometimes I miss new posts that I really do want to see. There was a time when I read every post on my feed, possibly skimming some if they didn’t interest me, but never skipping posts entirely. These days, I often scroll past several posts without reading them or even expanding them. To me, that’s pointless. If I’m following somebody, it should be because I want to see their posts.
When BL staff returned on December 9, my intent was to allow a few months for things to stabilize, then clean up the duplicates based on where people had decided to settle. I’ve put it off for longer than I’ve intended, but I hate tedious tasks and, like most people, my spare time is very valuable to me. I’ve decided to allocate a (hopefully small!) portion of my three-day weekend toward cleaning up the duplicates.
My plan is this: If somebody I'm following in both places is still active on BL, I’ll unfriend them on GR and keep following them on BL. Otherwise, I’ll do the opposite. If anybody sees this, cares, and wishes I had maintained the relationship on the opposite site, just let me know and I’ll happily switch it. I’ll leave things alone on LibraryThing for now. I have a couple duplicates there, but my activity on LT is mostly in the groups and I tend to ignore my feed, so I don’t feel any annoyance about it.
I know I could just take people off my “Top Friends” list on Goodreads and limit my feed to Top Friends, but that feels like a numbers game to me. It’s like saying, “I don’t actually want to see anything these people post, but I’m going to maintain my friendship with them so my friend count doesn’t decrease.” I hate that. Also, I’ve seen messages in the Goodreads Feedback forum indicating there are known algorithm issues causing reviews to be excluded from your feed if you have a lot of friends. I’ve never seen “a lot” quantified, and it might not be affected by people you're filtering out of your feed, but I want to minimize that risk and keep my friend list manageable.
Sorry for writing such a long post about something that will be of absolutely no interest to most people! This should go without saying, but I want to emphasize that I won’t be the slightest bit offended if other people decide to do the same to me. For that matter, I won’t be offended even if some people want to unfollow me altogether. I completely understand what it’s like to find yourself following people and realizing you really don’t have much in common. I also know all too well what it’s like to have a busy life and want to streamline things so you can have more time for the things you most enjoy. I may do a little bit of cleanup in that regard myself once I get started, but my main objective is to get rid of duplicates.