The use of the word friend to classify online connections has been problematic since Flickr first used it way back in the mists of internet time. It still jars on Facebook where my connections now extend way beyond those who would feel comfortable with me calling them my friend.
I now get the sort of interactions in Facebook around posts that I used to get blogging. In fact I now see myself as blogging in parallel in Facebook. In the early days of blogging we would reach out to people who looked interesting and said smart things. I am now doing that in Facebook. Based on Facebook recommendations of people with more than 30 shared connections, I will take a look, and if they look like they post interesting stuff, request a friend connection.
Hope some of them say yes!