I'm a member of Goodreads.com. In order to avoid spammers and bots I have set it up so that users have to answer a question about me before they can send me a friend request. However, it is possible to follow my updates/reviews without friending me. The only difference between friending and following (as far as I can see) is that one is reciprocal and the other isn't (i.e. you can't friend somebody who doesn't friend you back, but you can follow them and have access to the same updates).
Every so often I'll receive a PM from somebody who can't answer my security question, asking if I'll add them as a friend. In such cases I'll typically check out their profiles, and if they look legit I'll add them. However, I'm wondering what's the kinder option if I don't want to add them. The way I see it, I have two options:
1) Ignore their request.
2) Send a reply along the lines of "Hi <Name>. I'm sorry, I prefer to only add people I know outside Goodreads to my friendlist, but thank you for your email."
I know that etiquette-wise I'd be in the clear with either, but which is the kinder option? I'd tend to go with 1) myself as it allows the social lie that I never got/saw the request in the first place, but I'm curious to what other people think.