A social network with only 10 friends?

Evan Williams, on stage at the Web 2.0 Summit talking about how constraining software services brings goodness, said he wants to know what a social network with only 10 members would be like.

Hey, social software that Scoble won’t use! Heheh, I can hear thousands of people saying “I want THAT!”

Seriously, don’t we already have this? It’s called a family. That’s one thing I can’t add more members to very quickly. :-)

33 thoughts on “A social network with only 10 friends?

  1. Scoble,

    You bring up an interesting point. Networks on such a small scale are everywhere in the broader community sense. Many people with blogs and twitter only have a handful of followers, but it still a community. An interesting component of small networks is in the context of ad hoc communities. Communities that are based around disseminating information on time sensitive events such as the wild fires in Cali They are low involvement and serve an immediate purpose.

    Here’s a post I just wrote on the subject if you interested:
    http://senithomas.wordpress.com/2007/10/24/the-power-of-portals-ad-hoc-communities/

  2. Scoble,

    You bring up an interesting point. Networks on such a small scale are everywhere in the broader community sense. Many people with blogs and twitter only have a handful of followers, but it still a community. An interesting component of small networks is in the context of ad hoc communities. Communities that are based around disseminating information on time sensitive events such as the wild fires in Cali They are low involvement and serve an immediate purpose.

    Here’s a post I just wrote on the subject if you interested:
    http://senithomas.wordpress.com/2007/10/24/the-power-of-portals-ad-hoc-communities/

  3. In answer to Dawn D – the reason geeks have so many Web 2.0 friends is exactly the same reason they have a stereotype for preferring computers over people.

    Geeks find it difficult to interact face-to-face.

    The interesting question is whether Web 2.0 is escapism or training – does the nature of friendships on Web 2.0 make it easier for the geek to avoid real life altogether, or does it act as social training for the geek?

    In other words, does the average geek with 10,000 Web 2.0 friends have fewer or more real-world friends than the average geek did back before Web 2.0 existed? If it is more, then perhaps schools should be looking into using Web 2.0 as a socialising tool for those with social interaction difficulties.

  4. In answer to Dawn D – the reason geeks have so many Web 2.0 friends is exactly the same reason they have a stereotype for preferring computers over people.

    Geeks find it difficult to interact face-to-face.

    The interesting question is whether Web 2.0 is escapism or training – does the nature of friendships on Web 2.0 make it easier for the geek to avoid real life altogether, or does it act as social training for the geek?

    In other words, does the average geek with 10,000 Web 2.0 friends have fewer or more real-world friends than the average geek did back before Web 2.0 existed? If it is more, then perhaps schools should be looking into using Web 2.0 as a socialising tool for those with social interaction difficulties.

  5. Robert, I know this is now a stale thread but I just saw this. I think, seriously, mapping of family as a social network is a solid idea. Or may be even extended family. When the kids are young and live with parents, the whole family is mapped to a physical node, called home, of a social network, called the world. But often families spread out. They may make use of an online social network which allows 10 closest person instead of 5000 audience in one’s network.

  6. Robert, I know this is now a stale thread but I just saw this. I think, seriously, mapping of family as a social network is a solid idea. Or may be even extended family. When the kids are young and live with parents, the whole family is mapped to a physical node, called home, of a social network, called the world. But often families spread out. They may make use of an online social network which allows 10 closest person instead of 5000 audience in one’s network.

  7. I write and speak regularly on networking and social networking….and there are advantages to larger numbers. However, not everyone can manage GIANT numbers like Scoble (you are unique in how you can successfully have large numbers of people in your social networking circles and actually communicate and relate to them all). Most people top out at being able to interact with 100 – 200 people and actually have some kind of relationship. It takes give and take, not just links (again, Scoble will respond to those in his social network and read their stuff on blogs and twitter, few can manage it like he does and make others feel connected).

    I think that some people have great success focusing on very small numbers. Like high school….I had a large group of friends, but some people had just one close friend. Neither is the “right” answer, as many who had small circles had great times in high school. So it is not right or wrong….just what works for the individual.

    That is the problem with these social networking / media….everyone thinks their way is the best way. Time will morph all of this, but for now it is all too new.

    thom

  8. I write and speak regularly on networking and social networking….and there are advantages to larger numbers. However, not everyone can manage GIANT numbers like Scoble (you are unique in how you can successfully have large numbers of people in your social networking circles and actually communicate and relate to them all). Most people top out at being able to interact with 100 – 200 people and actually have some kind of relationship. It takes give and take, not just links (again, Scoble will respond to those in his social network and read their stuff on blogs and twitter, few can manage it like he does and make others feel connected).

    I think that some people have great success focusing on very small numbers. Like high school….I had a large group of friends, but some people had just one close friend. Neither is the “right” answer, as many who had small circles had great times in high school. So it is not right or wrong….just what works for the individual.

    That is the problem with these social networking / media….everyone thinks their way is the best way. Time will morph all of this, but for now it is all too new.

    thom

  9. I have a few “social networks” of my own with under 10 members right now. Kinzin.com is a “network of networks” that lets you create as many small networks as you want for friends and family groups (Sorry for the plug, but it seems relevant). Each of us already belongs to multiple social networks, many of them quite small, obviously. It’s hard to imagine creating entirely new networks of 10 people or less…

  10. I have a few “social networks” of my own with under 10 members right now. Kinzin.com is a “network of networks” that lets you create as many small networks as you want for friends and family groups (Sorry for the plug, but it seems relevant). Each of us already belongs to multiple social networks, many of them quite small, obviously. It’s hard to imagine creating entirely new networks of 10 people or less…

  11. 10 is the size of social network you get when you consider who you really care about, and who really cares about you. The rest are contacts, acquaintances and associates, hangers-on, groupies, followers and fellows, and people with nothing better to do than pay attention to you (which also describes the 10-group, but for an entirely different reason).

  12. 10 is the size of social network you get when you consider who you really care about, and who really cares about you. The rest are contacts, acquaintances and associates, hangers-on, groupies, followers and fellows, and people with nothing better to do than pay attention to you (which also describes the 10-group, but for an entirely different reason).

  13. I have a couple of circa ten person mailing lists. In one case that list roughly corresponds to my “$3,000 in Boise”[1] friends.

    Is that a “social network”? I don’t know. On the other hand, since I use old fashioned constructs like weblogs, mailing lists, and email to keep in touch with most of my friends, and only fall back to MyFaceLinkedDegrees accounts when I have to to follow someone who posts their updates there, I don’t think I’ve got more than ten connections on any of those systems.

    [1] The late Lewis Grizzard described these as the people who could ask you to show up in Boise tomorrow with three thousand dollars in cash, without explanation, and you’d do it. The dollar amount may be dated, the concept isn’t.

  14. I have a couple of circa ten person mailing lists. In one case that list roughly corresponds to my “$3,000 in Boise”[1] friends.

    Is that a “social network”? I don’t know. On the other hand, since I use old fashioned constructs like weblogs, mailing lists, and email to keep in touch with most of my friends, and only fall back to MyFaceLinkedDegrees accounts when I have to to follow someone who posts their updates there, I don’t think I’ve got more than ten connections on any of those systems.

    [1] The late Lewis Grizzard described these as the people who could ask you to show up in Boise tomorrow with three thousand dollars in cash, without explanation, and you’d do it. The dollar amount may be dated, the concept isn’t.

  15. I can just see your wallet, Robert. You know when the proud papa pulls it out and unfolds the accordion photo holder, “So look at my 5000 kids! This is James, and this is Tina, and this is, uhm, forgot his name…” :0

  16. I can just see your wallet, Robert. You know when the proud papa pulls it out and unfolds the accordion photo holder, “So look at my 5000 kids! This is James, and this is Tina, and this is, uhm, forgot his name…” :0

  17. PS> Geni.com’s founder is a former PayPal exec (Chief Operating Officer from 1999 to 2002) and Hollywood producer.

  18. PS> Geni.com’s founder is a former PayPal exec (Chief Operating Officer from 1999 to 2002) and Hollywood producer.

  19. I just came across a collaborative genealogy site, geni.com, after reading a recent article in my alma mater’s alumni magazine:
    http://magazine.uchicago.edu/07910/features/take2.shtml

    It’s currently in beta (sound familiar?) but I see great potential in having the private/family/family friends “social network.”

    BTW, my only connection to this company/site is that I signed up for an account last night… And immediately added 64 family members.

  20. I just came across a collaborative genealogy site, geni.com, after reading a recent article in my alma mater’s alumni magazine:
    http://magazine.uchicago.edu/07910/features/take2.shtml

    It’s currently in beta (sound familiar?) but I see great potential in having the private/family/family friends “social network.”

    BTW, my only connection to this company/site is that I signed up for an account last night… And immediately added 64 family members.

  21. Scoble, 10 or under friends is exactly the sweet spot of 30 Boxes. Your friends that “matter most” and the UI deliberately constrains to do that.

  22. Scoble, 10 or under friends is exactly the sweet spot of 30 Boxes. Your friends that “matter most” and the UI deliberately constrains to do that.

  23. I’m trying to have an strictly circle of people on my facebook. I wont fall anymore on what it was Orkut: 400 friends I don’t even meet in Internet. Crazy fever. I try to add people once I’ve meet them seriously IRL or, in Internet once I do connect properly.

  24. I’m trying to have an strictly circle of people on my facebook. I wont fall anymore on what it was Orkut: 400 friends I don’t even meet in Internet. Crazy fever. I try to add people once I’ve meet them seriously IRL or, in Internet once I do connect properly.

  25. Nothing beats the social network of your family and sometimes that connections don’t even have to be human. I wish some people would follow me and show interest in what I am doing like dogs do but I also find it interesting I am in touch with more people through online social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and my blogs because of the technology hurdle.

  26. Nothing beats the social network of your family and sometimes that connections don’t even have to be human. I wish some people would follow me and show interest in what I am doing like dogs do but I also find it interesting I am in touch with more people through online social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and my blogs because of the technology hurdle.

  27. I find it interesting that being a geek (or at least the image of what a geek is) has turned upside-down in such a short period of time. Not long ago, a stereotypical geek was somebody who preferred the company of machines to humans and was considered anti-social — working alone with no friends or life, really, outside of computers.

    Now it’s somebody who has 10,000 friends and is more super-hyper-social than Paris Hilton, collecting more and more gadgets and applications to ever increase their friend pool.

    Why is that?

  28. I find it interesting that being a geek (or at least the image of what a geek is) has turned upside-down in such a short period of time. Not long ago, a stereotypical geek was somebody who preferred the company of machines to humans and was considered anti-social — working alone with no friends or life, really, outside of computers.

    Now it’s somebody who has 10,000 friends and is more super-hyper-social than Paris Hilton, collecting more and more gadgets and applications to ever increase their friend pool.

    Why is that?

Comments are closed.