The Book Publicity Blog

News, Tips, Trends and Miscellany for Book Publicists

Finding friends on Facebook

With so many more people joining social networks, of which Facebook is one of the most popular, the question becomes how to find connections since, after all, a network is only as good as its contacts.

Facebook’s Friend Finder function will allow you to go through your email address books to find contacts who are already on Facebook (and other networking sites have similar applications).  Once you’ve friend requested your contacts with Facebook profiles, you will be asked to invite your contacts who do not have profiles.  Do *not* invite them.  This is the thing: you’re not the first one on Facebook.  Your friends have profiles … that were opened with alternate email addresses.  (It’s 2009 and lots of us have multiple email addresses for multiple purposes.)

It is, in fact, frustrating getting a request from a friend that’s been sent to the “wrong” email address since there’s no way to redirect the request to your profile to accept it.  (Well, maybe there is a way to redirect the request / look up your wayward friend, but that certainly can’t be done after you’ve accidentally deleted the request because you thought it was spam.  Which may or may not have happened to me.  More than once.)  Any who.

Facebook also has a “Suggestions” function that, well, suggests people you might know.  It finds people who are friends of your existing friends and, although I don’t have this on good authority, I swear it now also trawls through your address books automatically.  (I’ve seen people pop up in my suggestions box who are not mutual friends of any of my friends but whose names I know are in my email address books.)  A third way to add friends is to simply scroll through the Friends list of one of your friends.

If you find yourself adding friends willy nilly, you will want to make sure that you either censor yourself so that your posts are appropriate for a general audience (and by “general” I mean “your boss and your parents / children”) or you should set your privacy settings / group your contacts so that your narratives of your enchanting but untoward behavior is not shared with people with whom you should not be sharing enchanting but untoward behavior.  (Authors should use the lowest privacy settings, however — unless a profile is for personal use only — since the point of joining Facebook is so that fans and readers can find and see everything.)

Different networking sites will have different etiquette when it comes to “friending” people you do not know.  On Twitter, for example, most people follow friends as well as random people who just seem interesting.  On Facebook, though, while some people (like authors wanting to connect with readers) accept friend requests from everyone, many others prefer to only accept requests from people who are actually friends.


For those of you looking to join / become more active on Twitter, check this post about the Follower / Following lists.  Do you belong to other networks popular with people in publishing like Good Reads?  Any tips / tricks for finding contacts?


July 23, 2009 - Posted by | Social Networking


  1. Yen,

    Thanks for the info about Facebook’s Friend Finder function (say that 3 times fast!).

    As a writer, you’re correct–I’ll accept just about anyone as a friend. I always wonder, though, what people think if I try to make friends with them and they don’t know me. I don’t want to seem rude, or anything, just trying to network!

    (BTW, I just did a blog about the “Suggested Friends” feature of Facebook: )

    Comment by Alan Orloff | July 23, 2009 | Reply

    • I guess it depends — some people will accept all requests and some won’t. For example, I don’t accept all requests on Facebook because I do post some personal information to my profile. (I could put people into different groups with different privacy settings, but that starts getting really complicated.) I don’t think it’s rude for strangers to friend request me — when you join a social network you open yourself up to being contacted by random people — but I hope they don’t find it rude if I don’t accept.

      Comment by Yen | July 23, 2009 | Reply

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  4. Hmmmmmmm now a days its not at all difficult to find the lost friends see my own experience on how i found lost friend after 17 years

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  5. hi
    hi my so dear friends, i really love knowing and making friends with people from all over the world.

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