Thursday, 26 April 2007

The Big Little Principle

I believe that it’s not only important to understand the success of social networks from the perspective of people wanting greater connection as I often read about, but as well to try and figure out the why’s of it.

There is the human condition. We always want to feel more and more connected to those around us. Trends since 9/11 have shown that we crave it even more than ever as we attempt to create a trusted cocoon around our network and ourselves.

As well though is something Peter and I like to call the ‘Big Little Principle’. It goes something like this: as things get bigger and bigger, we as human beings strive to find ways of chunking it into bite sized manageable pieces. In the environmental world it is the “Think Global, Act Local” banner.

In terms of social networks, as our ability to create networks that connect us to hundreds of people grows, so to does our desire to manage those networks. How can we remember who everyone is? How can we know what everyone is doing? How can we stay in touch beyond just simple presence? How can we make our networks more meaningful?

Maybe this explains in part tools such as twitter or anything that helps us feel more connected but without burdening us with having to take a slice of time out of our busy days.

As things get bigger, we desire to find ways to make it feel smaller.


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