“I’ve always had a tourist fantasy,” says Rex, a singer in a New York City electroclash band.
He recently had the opportunity to live out his fetish through Friendster.com, an online community for making friends and finding dates.
But although you could use it to meet a fellow Scrabble aficionado or an ultimate Frisbee partner, the site ends up being largely about dating.
“For every one user of online dating services, there are probably 10 people who would use Friendster because they’re more comfortable with the approach,” says company founder Jonathan Abrams. It’s a little more like real life.” Harris Danow, a development assistant at Miramax, has used online personals services but prefers Friendster. It’s called Friendster, not ‘Fuckster’ or ‘Makeoutster,’ ” he says.
While similar new services like and Linked help people swap business contacts, Friendster is one of the few places that help you swap your friends.
Friendster works on the same principle as the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game, where you find connections between movie stars.
Jonathan Ringen, an assistant editor at Metropolis, is a new member.
“I signed on to Friendster and after some quick browsing discovered that everybody I know is on this thing,” he says.
It was really hot—a hot rendezvous.” Just as Napster exploded in popularity a few years ago, Friendster is now making its own climb to Internet stardom.
“I’m shocked that it took me this long to get an invitation!
” Jonathan had unwittingly fallen victim to a new phenomenon—the virtual snub.
I said, ‘Oh, right, you’re the kitten eater, please stay away from my kittens.’ ” The site is emerging as a means to check out would-be mates.
Lauryn Siegel, an unemployed production office manager in New York, spends much of her newfound free time browsing the service. It lets you find out more about a person, to put them in context.” This narrowing of social groups has created its share of awkward online moments. Everyone accepts that it’s a small world, but Friendster makes it a lot more apparent.” Rex, the Friendster user with the tourist fantasy, also hints that there was something unsavory about his experience.
Lauryn found an old flame in her circle of friends, one she didn’t want to rekindle. “It was a successful one-night stand,” he says, but the hookup came with an element of limbo and a touch of Velcro.