Followers/ following Vs Friends - need opinions


Currently working on the UX for a new social network mostly oriented towards sharing artists portfolios.
I’m tempted to move away from the Followers/following dynamic to avoid the general less productive practices (I’ll follow you so you follow me and then I’ll drop you) and judging work’s by a follower count rather then the work itself. Ideallistic, I know
Instead I’m more oriented towards the friends option however I’m struggling with terminology “add…” or “community” or any other term that can explain this function without being called "friend"
Any thoughts on the whole issue or part of it?


Tricky one.

I think that Follow is by far the most intuitive option. Do you think that the semantics will effect the behaviour?


that is the problem, follow and following is such common practice that it’s almost unavoidable. however it does create a dynamic that I don’t believe is very productive, in a lot of networks value ends up being assigned to how many followers you have, not the quality of your work…
my question is how to frase a bilateral relationship, like “friends” in a way that is not “friends”


So I think this is subjective. I don’t associate negative connotations with the term ‘follow’, but the fact that you do definitely implies that others would and therefore supports your argument.

What about polling options?
You can do it here on Discourse – you’ll find the Create Poll menu item if you click the preferences cog.