Monday, November 12, 2007

Beyond the Dunbar Number

Stephen Downes delivered another article full of wisdom in The Personal Network Effect.

His ideas on improving the design of social networks are particularly interesting. The basic premise is that's possible to change the point of maximal value in a social network beyond the Dunbar number by increasing the diversity of the network. Highly meshed social networks tend to result in repeat messages. At a certain point, repeat messages lose all value. A diversity in our networks tends to reduce the likelihood of these repeat messages.

This caught my attention after reading The One Hundred Enterprise Architects Meme from James McGovern.

I'm curious if there is sufficient diversity in an aggregation1 of Enterprise Architects to avoid uniformity.

1. Hmmm... collective nouns and Enterprise Architects - expect a separate posting on this topic.

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