Posts Tagged ‘social networks’

Antisocial Networking: How Small (and Valuable) Can Social Networks Get?

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

Antisocial networks like Snubster began as parody; a backlash against large social networks and our fatigue in managing virtual “friends” we barely know. But there are far more powerful and systemic trends leading towards true antisocial networks. The question of where social networking is heading and where it ends is important for anyone investing or venturing online. Paradoxically, the biggest and most valuable networks will be the ones that can deal effectively with the smallest things.

My previous venture builds and manages large-scale communities. There we witnessed a constant churn of community members into smaller cliques. Even though the communities are focused on very specific interests, namely individual recording artists, cliques form around every topic imaginable, most having nothing to do with music at all.

Large networks like Facebook or LinkedIn face this fragmentation on a massive scale. But even the narrowest social network is not immune. Any service that’s organized around a static activity or interest will become fragmented as its membership grows. The reason is that the very organizing bases for social networks, the foundations for their existence, are constantly changing from within.

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Interest Networks Don’t Need to Socialize

Friday, October 10th, 2008

Here’s a glimpse into a future where interest networks are liberated from documents and social networks.

Past: Connecting People

The social dimension of the Web imparts a powerful influence on knowledge acquisition. People discover each other through the intersections of documents they create.

Unfortunately, this is a terribly protracted process. As Howard Bloom points out, “When we try to find each other, and try to find the knowledge we get from each other, these days it’s as difficult as getting from New York to California in 1848.” (1) (more…)