Mark Cuban hitting the 5,000 club on Facebook is all over Techmeme this morning. His solution — dividing Facebook friends into real friends, acquaintances, and power friends — is an extreme case of a much more general need, which is to be able to categorize friends. We already see this in the remarkable number of applications on Facebook that let you choose to designate some of your friends as your "top friends" or "best friends". At best, these are bandaid solutions because they can't really address the core problem. Facebook users need more sophisticated ways to decide how much information to reveal, to whom, and when. They also need the converse: how much information do I want from which groups of people in my network, and when. I really don't care, for instance, about Mark Cuban's clubbing habits and what he has for sale in the marketplace, since I live in Ottawa. But I might be interested in his movie reviews or his musical tastes.
Facebook needs a solution like the iotum Relevance Engine, applied to the Facebook news feed and profile, rather than to a phone call.