Saturday, February 27, 2010

Facebook Layoffs

A recent comment from good friend Uss got me thinking. He remarked that we have 222 friends in common on Facebook. I shifted from Orkut to Facebook over two years back because the number of people on my friends list was getting too big to handle. It had begun to hover around the four hundred mark and I was pretty sure I didn’t have so many friends. Not with my demeanour.

Facebook looked more exclusive and I decided start my virtual life anew. No more of the wild wanton Orkut days where every friend request had to be accepted unless it was a Brazilian whom I was pretty sure I hadn’t met. Now this was before the dastardly days of Mafia requests and Farmville invites. Facebook used to be a place where simple, sober people used to interact and the wildest anyone got was by throwing sheep or super poking someone. A complacency slowly crept in thanks to an increasingly misplaced sense of exclusiveness. That combined with a host of circumstances like electoral compulsions, graduation sensitivities, romantic liaisons, nostalgic affections and professional commitments made things worse resulting in the screening process for friend request reaching very deplorable limits. The only thing easier than getting into my friend list was sleeping with Tiger Woods.

Now things have come to a head. I can’t be comfortable with over five hundred people claiming to be my friend. What if they all decide to borrow money at the same time? And now that I am no longer fighting elections, have graduated, not getting hitched and beginning to lose memory, it is time to follow the world’s premier corporations in what they do best . Lay-offs. Right. I have decided to lay-off a huge part of my friends and slim down my friend-list. I need to be ready to face the challenges of the upcoming upturn with an elegant, tidy friend-list devoid of redundancy and surplus . In this age it helps to be ruthlessly professional about everything. Even your Facebook profile.

Thankfully I am not at a loss on how to execute this challenging task. My last few months have been spent closely observing how my own company does it and I have decided to replicate the process. I will call it F.O.R (Friendship Outsourcing Resource). This is how it will work.

• A list of the ‘indispensables’ will be created. They include EIC, MM, WOF, Shaastra core members, old comrades whose advice is valued, individuals whose references are valued, HNIs, brother and mom. They are exempted from the F.O.R process and need not bother. Their indispensability will however be reviewed every five years.

• One individual will be selected from each of the top Univs in the US depending on their ability to build networks in their campuses and their propensity to assist me in times of need. They are exempted from the F.O.R but their relevance will be reviewed on a quarterly basis. Friendship will be renewed from the first of April of every year depending on the annual appraisal report.

• The same will be done for all Fortune 500 contacts.

• All females are exempted. They form only 15% of the total numbers. Defunct relationships will be slowly phased out by the last quarter of 2010 and replaced with new initiatives. The idea is to keep the percentage at 15% and increased only in select cases when they seem to add intellect or glamour to the list.

• All foreigners (not NRIs) are exempted till I have travelled enough to believe having foreigners, who are just aquantainces on the list is not so cool anymore.

• Everybody else who do not fall under the above criterions will have to re-apply with a new friendship request with a note detailing why continuing our association online is a good idea and how it may further the individual social development of both.

• The requests will be scrutinized by me and the selected individuals will be offered a two year friendship deal. The deal will include mutually agreed upon commitments on the number of status message comments, likes, photo comments, wall posts and personality votes which we will deliver unto each others profiles. Once we are clear on the deliverables and agree to contract termination in event of Mafia/Farmville invites or reneging on the deliverables, we re-induct each other in our lists.

• There will be quite a few who don’t make the cut and they will be summarily receive a letter of regret. Every mail will be personalized because I believe lay-offs should always have a humane touch. A sample is given below.

It breaks my heart to say this but I think we should we on other people’s live feed from now on. Your contributions to my profile have been immense but as you can understand, to face society more confidently I need people with skills other than yours. Please feel free to call or meet me as long as it just once a year and it is in a public place.

Following the methodologies stated above, I hope to cut up to 60% of the names currently present. I understand everyone who will need to go through F.O.R are speculating exactly on what standards will the applications be evaluated. I want my friend list to get rid of its engineer & IIT focus and have a more diversified portfolio of individuals. I admit there will be an informal 2% quota for genuine sportsmen. People with a background in the arts with an understanding of Bernoulli’s theorem or vice versa have an edge over anyone with just one of the qualities.

We cannot predict whether this pink slip method will improve my social standing and give me more control over my virtual life. A committee of my alter-egos will go though the quarterly results and bring out a review in the annual Facebook profile report ‘Why do I have so much free time and what I do with it’. Pdfs will be mailed to anyone interested in going through it.

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Ganesh said...

"All females are exempted" :D Why isn't there a "I Like" option here? :P

Vikas Shenoy said...

Sayan, can I apply in the 2% quota for sportsmen? Else, I believe Shaastra core members is a safe option.

Pls. advice.

Nikita said...

And I thought I'm the only one with stringent criteria for people applying to be my fb friends!

BTW, I'm better than you. I don't discriminate on the basis of gender. :P

Satyaanveshi said...

Hope that you won't have such a strict policy for letting follow your blog.

Kini said...

Bloody Hilarious. As always.


Well done my friend. :)

jimmy said...

(Not to be misconstrued as laughing at other peoples misfortune. I am safe for the next 5 years- with no strings attached )

So I guess, I can upload more of my Europe pics, without any fear of getting fired now.

Sayan said...

@jiggs: yes, blogger needs more apps. They can help divert the attention from otherwise mundane posts. But what we really need is an Unlike option.

@lays: You obviously fall under the indispensibles. the 2% quote is not valid because its for genuine sportsman. Not just sportsmen. How many ODIs have you played?

@Nikita: You contradict yourself. If your criteris is stringent, it means you discriminate. Basis is irrelevent. And pretty people don't need to have a gender bias. They get more than enough attention anyway.

@satyaa: On the contrary, i am launching a microfinance scheme to pay people into following my blog.

@kini: Thank you sir!

@jimmy: You celebrate too early infidel! We at MM sre unhappy about your lack of correspondence. I am working on a post tentatively titled Jimmy Gaddar.

Aditya said...

Prof !! Like MaGaM says, hilarious!! But I did notice one detail, rather one class of people, you seem to have left out of your "exempt" group- Commies !!

BTW, You've seriously got to be spending way too much time on facebook, to be able to come up with this scheme in the first place!!

Avi said...

Awesome work....
Not sure if i fall under any category which makes me indispensable...

Nikita said...

if pretty ppl (thank you, btw) get more than enough attention, they at least have a reason to discriminate (I'm only making a feeble attempt at self-defense).

anyway...full marks for catching me there! :P

pota said...

What is facebook?

Siva Shanmukh said...


You would never want to know!

Siva Shanmukh said...


You would never want to know!

Sayan said...

@Aditya: After everything i did in support of crony capitalism, you still sitck to your commie remarks!

@lath: Read the fine print. You are a WOF member.

@nikita: Apology accepted. :-)

@pota: Very apt query. Its something like orkut but its pointlessness is more neatly packedged.

Senjuti said...

In FB lingo, I heart-ed (there would be a blob of heart if it were facebook)this post... :D (okay i took this liberty coz u were anyway going to give my lot a 15% reservation, and your quota i believe is far from full...)

Since I am secure, i feel like sending you a Farmville invite, just to test my luck..and ahem- "women" power...anyway, I loathe to do it but, it is not "There indispensability will however be reviewed every five years." it should read as "Their".

It's brilliant, and let's discuss that in the "REAL" world aye!

Mahesh Mahadevan said...

:-D to your criteria; I need to work on my request now :-)
^:-)^ to Pota, who has hit the nail on the head, albeit at grazing incidence.

Mein Fuhrer, Steiner... Steiner thinks you're making way too many typos these days, eventually leading to the impending typocalypse (when it misspells your doom).

Of course, do please accept the humble apologies of this ignorant (and occasionally unnecessarily pedantic) fool if there was some intricate, intelligent wordplay in packedged, that my feeble brain could not pick up. My poetic license will be suspended...

Dino said...

Funny :D

On both counts! The post and Ganesh still looking for "I Like" buttons when "All females are exempted" even 8 years after school!

Also, love the bit about - "Why I have so much time and what I do with it" bit -- very Douglas Adamsy or maybe Monty Pythony

jatin said...

hey you deleted me..oh wait i think i deleted myself..damn this facebook confuses me..i cant cant even find my damn wall..
Awesome should thank me and deba though for moving out of bangalore...else you would be drunk every weekend watching seinfeld reruns...ahh the good times