Thomas Hawk
Facebook’s “In-House Sociologist” Shares Stats on Users’ Social Behavior -
Facebook’s “In-House Sociologist” Shares Stats on Users’ Social Behavior
"In other words, Facebook users comment on stuff from only about 5-7% of their Facebook friends. And as has been shown by many other studies, women communicate with more people in all cases than men. “People who are members of online social networks are not so much ‘networking’ as they are ‘broadcasting their lives to an outer tier of acquaintances who aren’t necessarily inside the Dunbar circle,’” Lee Rainie, the director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, says." - Thomas Hawk from Bookmarklet
then again, I comment on stuff from only about 0% of my Facebook friends, because, well, Facebook is pretty boring. - Thomas Hawk
likewise. - Parth Awasthi
@Thomas: +3. The only reason I go there is when one of my High School friends finds me there. - AJ Kohn
I'm doing something wrong or I'm really unpopular, 120 "friends" or 500 "friends", who are these people? - Ace
Interesting stats. I do have to work on those 10 friends, I am not quite talkative. - Carlos Lorenzo
every now and again it sort of freaks me out when I log on to facebook and some random person tries to chat with me. I don't want that. I have AIM and Yahoo Messenger for that. - Thomas Hawk
Memo to Web sociologists: Dunbar Number is meaningless online. It is a measure of physical interaction in the RW, limited by time and transportation, not mental abilities of humans. Online, we can have multiples of Dunbar numbers simultaneously. - Bora Zivkovic
That is incorrect: "Dunbar's number was first proposed by British anthropologist Robin Dunbar, who theorized that "this limit is a direct function of relative neocortex size, and that this in turn limits group size ... the limit imposed by neocortical processing capacity is simply on the number of individuals with whom a stable inter-personal relationship can be maintained."" - coldbrew
Dunbar was dead wrong - the limitations are not cognitive, - Bora Zivkovic
It was and is a theory, and it didn't ever cite a specific number. Your original statement was that it was based on real world interactions when, in fact, it was based on "neocortical processing capacity." - coldbrew
The Memo was to sociologists, not to Dunbar himself, because it is them who took it and ran away with it, assigning it a number and not realizing that limitations are physical, not cognitive. They fell in love with the idea, without critically engaging with it. I am glad that I know Communications profs who have realized this and teach about Dunbar Number correctly in the context of the Web. - Bora Zivkovic
or: "Facebook’s “In-House Sociologist” Shares Stats on Boring People's Behavior" ;) - Meryn Stol
From the post, it was unclear whether the communications were measured for all time, or just within a particular period (i.e. the last six months). I just joined Facebook Thursday morning, so my comment ratio is pretty high. - Ontario Emperor
So you could probably handle 300,000 personal relationships because cognition isn't an issue? - coldbrew
It is to be seen what the cognitive limits are. Online, one can swiftly move from one social circle to another. A lot of it does not even require 1-to-1: I check quickly what everyone is broadcasting, and I hope many of them quickly scan what I am broadcasting. I may get into 1-to-1 with one or several of them in the morning, and a totally different group in the afternoon. - Bora Zivkovic
About 90% of the people in the world - and this includes the highly mobile USA - are born, live and die in one place, often in the same house, rarely or never traveling more than 100 miles from their birthplace. They build their social network in RL - and that is about 150 people. - Bora Zivkovic
Online, one can have multiples of social groups. Last week in NYC, I met and had a grand time with my "NYC social circle", all initially discovered online, although I may not be in daily contact with any one of them. One's social groups go in and out of one's attention all the time. We go through phases several times a day. - Bora Zivkovic
And I do not consider my NYC friends any lesser than friends I have at home where I live. I know some people from online interactions MUCH better, in greater depth and detail of mutual understanding, than my next-door neighbors, in-laws or the person I worked with for a year in 2001. - Bora Zivkovic
I'm having trouble rectifying two statements you've made: 1) "the limitations are not cognitive" 2) "It is to be seen what the cognitive limits are." - coldbrew
Dunbar Number, used by sociologists to be around 150 is not the cognitive limit. Cognitive limit will be larger, much larger. It exists, but we did not get there (i.e., determining/measuring it) yet. Ask Scoble - he may be close ;-) - Bora Zivkovic
"Dunbar's number is a theoretical cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships...No precise value has been proposed for Dunbar's number, but a commonly cited approximation is 150." - coldbrew
Another problem is temporal. In the example of the usual people who never travel, their social circle is pretty static throughout their lives. But for people like us, it can be quite dynamic. You engage intensively with a group for a while, then move on, then come back to the same group 20 years later, etc. So, there is now a temporal dynamic on top of spatial and we need to agree on what the definitions are (e.g., time-frame of one's Number). - Bora Zivkovic
I agree with that, and I believe the number will differ among people substantially; but there will always be an average. I don't think you'll find an argument from anyone that digital communications removes the barriers to interact with greater numbers of people, but one's Dunbar number depends on whether a few simple interactions constitutes a "stable social relationship." [EDIT: removed pronoun for clarity ] - coldbrew
I agree we need to have a good definition of the terms "stable", "social" and "relationship". I am now brewing a blog post about this - thank you ;-) - Bora Zivkovic
That sounds like a good idea. This can be quite an academic discussion, and somewhat distant from my formal education (hm, I wonder if you could draw parallels to molecular interactions? Some proteins are comprised of thousands of atoms.). I'll be sure to read your take. - coldbrew
Social media is really great for increasing one's "loose ties". It doesn't have to be merely broadcast. You can engage with people when they're doing something what interests you. - Meryn Stol "What mainly goes up, therefore, is not the core network but the number of casual contacts that people track more passively. This corroborates Dr Marsden’s ideas about core networks, since even those Facebook users with the most friends communicate only with a relatively small number of them. Put differently, people who are members of online social networks are not so much “networking” as they are “broadcasting their lives to an outer tier of acquaintances who aren’t necessarily inside the Dunbar circle,” says Lee Rainie, the director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, a polling organisation. Humans may be advertising themselves more efficiently. But they still have the same small circles of intimacy as ever." - NoahDavidSimon
I really don't see significant difference here between gender. I would of thought it would be higher. I really do think it would be higher.. these numbers are quite misleading. the intimacy in the contacts are quite different in a number spread between genders. women are more apt to have more semi intimate friends and males are more likely to have more very intimate friends. and that the proportion of intimacy is different at different levels. women are more likely to have more casual friends, but still friends. men have more very close contacts... these numbers are spread across a spectrum that might confuse science. the science here just seems to a bit rounded to be accurate. that is why gender theory for the last 30 years has mostly failed. to dissect social truths you gotta get away from sampling and just open your eyes a bit. - NoahDavidSimon
tag: Dunbar - Bora Zivkovic
I think FB missed a bet to turn off user comments on a whole host of things. When users post status updates to their own wall, any of their friends can comment. When anyone else writes on a given user's wall, no one can comment on those posts. Stupid decision. - Andrew C (✔)
Woot, and today I see comments on wall messages are back. - Andrew C (✔)