Social Networks and e-Grooming?

No, I don’t mean anything by the term!

David Wilcox pulls various strands together, starting with Nick Booth’s comments around the idea in Robin Dunbar’s “Grooming, Gossip and the Evolution of Language” that the maximum size of community the human brain can cope with (about150), linking to the attempt to build vast on-line communities.

Nice to know someone reads the same books as me… I would prefer it if most of my friends were people who were near enough to buy me a beer occasionally. But on the other hand, I still have a few slots available in my 150 for some on-line friends 🙂

He discusses whether it is it practical or possible to create a series of virtual ‘villages’ – but then, maybe the magic of Web 2.0 is that it acts as a tool that allows humans to breach that 150 limit?

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About Peter Cruickshank

Lecturer in the School of Computing and a member of the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland. Interested in information systems, learning, politics, society, security and where they intersect. My attempts at rounding out my character include food, cinema, running, history and, together with my lovely wife, bringing up a cat and a couple of kids.
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3 Responses to Social Networks and e-Grooming?

  1. David Wilcox says:

    Thannks Peter – though the link should be http://partnerships.typepad.com/civic/2006/10/cut_your_friend.html and I would like to tip my hat to Nick Booth for the reference

  2. OK – changes now made to the body of the entry.

    My reference to the magic of Web 2.0 has at least a small element of sarcasm btw.

  3. Nick Booth says:

    Peter – thanks for the mention. I used the Dunbar reference because I’m convinced that many of us find the idea of being highly networked intimidating.

    It is certainly a skill worth developing but there are always good explanations for why people find themslees intimated by web 2.0.

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