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Separation of 'follow user' and 'friend request'

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I'm new to OTN and currently following the Welcome Aboard mission to discover the functionalities here.


One of the tasks is to follow a user.

This has given me some headache because I didn't understand what I need to do.

My expectation: I visit a user profile and there is a simple follow button. When I follow a user I get a notification when they make a thread or reply or post content. This would appear in my 'Your places' area where I see spaces, groups and users which/whom I follow.

Reality: In the FAQ section I finally found that following a user means I have to send a friend request and the user in question has to accept it and then we are able to exchange private messages.


That's not what I want. I don't want to bother people with friend requests from an unknown person. Probably they won't accept anyway because they don't know me and fear that I will start spamming their inboxes with questions.


I want to just follow for example Jonathan Lewis because I think his answers are generally an interesting read to learn something, even if I didn't ask the question. Basically like following someone on Twitter.

I don't need him to be friends with me or even be forced to follow my content just because he accepted a friend request.


Both functionalities (follow and friends) are useful, but they are or should be different things.



Apologies if this is a duplicate, but I searched this board and couldn't find a similar topic.


And hey, I can accomplish 'post an idea' without posting nonsense. If my desired functionality already exists please provide me with information/link on how to 'only follow'.


Regards, Christoph


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