People tend to have ljs on their f-lists for a number of reasons - RL friends, fandom authors/artists/BNFs, peeps they stumbled upon, peeps who they made a connection with one day and things clicked. The f-list got bigger and more fruitful and everything was shiny.
Until it was not.
For whatever reason, things start getting a bit out of hand. It doesn't matter it was 50 people, or 500 people - suddenly there was a lot more skimming of the -list than reading. A lot more scrolling than actual commenting. A question arises on how one's going to solve this problem.
To get it out of the way, I'm going to start with filters. Personally, I loathe them. Alright, fine, if a person is going to do it to fandom communities that have a dozen posts a day (each!), it's understandable. But filtering out the people who take the time out of the day to read your entries and expect you're doing the same...what was the point of friending them in the first place?
Here's the issue with friend-cuts. No matter how much a person may say "it's not you, it's me", at some point there was a decision made that the lj being defriended *needed* to be defriended. And it hurts. That's human. Okay, so we keep harping that life's not a popularity contest, but when someone decides we aren't their friend, we can't help taking it personally.
IMO the LJ system is a bit...flawed. There should be a way to track people (have their entries show on your f-list) without having to go through the hoopla of friending in the first place. Maybe adding them to a reading list. Here's the beauty of it...the lj user doesn't have to friend you back for you to access friends-only entries. Instead they can increase your access level to read friends-only entries too - or entries tagged "icons", or "fics" or "pr0n". What's the difference? They don't have to friend you back unless you actually want to friend them for all their entries.
This way we wouldn't need a dozen or more communities for our fandom stuff and personal life. Instead of the current system forcing you to filter out friends, you could filter your own entries to different levels - you could post up your icons, have it not show up anywhere but on your icon filter. Anyone who clicks a link you post up, will get taken to your icon filter posts. And they could add your icon filter to their reading list.
Bah, okay my brain is on the fritz and rambling. I just want to leave y'all on a final note.
If I'm on your f-list and you think we have a lot in common - AND I've never gotten around to friending you back- speak up and I'll rectify that situation ASAP.
On the other hand, if you don't feel we've connected in the past, or my entries are a complete waste of space on your f-list, there is no reason to have to keep me friended just for the sake of friending. Feel free to defriend me at any time.
That is all.