Archive for November, 2007

Dunbar Had A Point

Sunday, November 4th, 2007

Dunbar’s Number is 150.

From Wikipedia:
Proposed by British anthropologist Robin Dunbar, it indicates the “cognitive limit to the number of individuals with whom any one person can maintain stable relationships”.

Thanks to popular social networking services like Twitter, Facebook, etc., users can communicate with others much more efficiently. Before this technology, an avid socialite would have a limit to the number of people he or she could communicate with. Now, there is no limit. On Twitter, the “whales” (people with large numbers of contacts) have thousands of followers. On Facebook, they are hitting the maximum limit of 4,999 friends. With high efficiency communication platforms, there is practically no limit to the number of people a “popular” individual can communicate with.

What happens to someone when they talk to thousands of people at a time? If you wait in line to talk to this person or if you are a small voice in a large crowd of people clamoring for the attention of this person, are you going to be able to have a meaningful interaction? With all the noise, will you have a strong enough signal to hold a conversation of much significance?

User-Submitted Crappy Graph