Though summer reading does not summer blogging make, now Labor Day has past it’s time to catch up. One of the more intriguing ideas to hit my radar in August is Scott Traylor’s post on the size of online social networks:
How is it that some members of online social networks have so many connections? Connections that number in the high hundreds, and sometimes even thousands? Do these users really know that many people?
Observing how some users of LinkedIn and Facebook have hundreds of “friends” or more, and wondering how that was possible, Scott’s research led to a theory called Dunbar’s Number, the “the supposed cognitive limit to the number of individuals with whom any one person can maintain stable social relationships: the kind of relationships that go with knowing who each person is and how each person relates socially to every other person. Although no precise value has been proposed for Dunbar’s number, a commonly cited approximate figure is 150.”
Not content with theory alone, Scott took the time to look at different levels of connectedness he has with others, and plotted those relationships to see if Dunbar’s number holds up. Does it? Read more here to find out.