For a while, I had this notion that I should self-limit my friends to 150 on Facebook drawing on Dunbar’s Number that states basically you can not respectfully hold any real connection to more than 150 individuals. I’ve given up on this now for a few reasons. As social networking is now taking center stage on the 2.0 roadmap, I realize the more friends/connections I have, the better my harvest for weak tie benefits. Relation capital or relationship equity as I’ve called it before, is the new gold standard that will drive the economy of the next generation Internet. We’re seeing it first, of course, in the consumer economy where relationships matter most between brand marketers and their webs of prey.* And as more enterprise vendors, including Google, get more innovative about how to apply social networking utility to the complex ecosystem of partnerships and interdisciplinary teamworks that comprise the global world of commerce, we’ll see how crucial these relationships play out. What’s critical is your nodal strength and your influence. Whether you are influencing the purchase of toilet tissue or the purchase of hedge fund strategies, you and your relationship to your community will be indexed, matrixed, monitored, and analyzed to abstraction.
As Marshall Clark commented on the Organic blog:
There’s a massive amount of information buried in the personal interconnections and communications on social media platforms, but until now Google has been largely blocked from indexing this content (we all know Orkut doesn’t count).
If PageRank was big, wait until ‘SocialRank’ rolls out in 2008. Google just pulled off a major coup me’thinks.
Because social networks are easily studied mathematically, I’ve been talking to our in-house math wizards about mapping and manipulating the data in social networks for our clients. It turns out there are volumes– years– of data on this, including dedicated academic journals. I was interested to see that Google is a member of the Sante Fe Institute that George Danner tells me is one of the most prestigious scientific research think tanks.
Speaking of relationships, it seems everyone is going to Defrag… I’m not going, but I will be lurking like a demon on Twitter.
I was particularly interested in this comment from Eric Norlin on the Defrag blog Friday:
John Chambers (of Cisco) has been sounding the trumpet about “enterprise 2.0″ technologies for months now. In fact, you might remember that Cisco also acquired Webex. The purchase of an authorization management company by essentially a collaboration company tells us that collaborative tools are about to get *serious* inside of the enterprise. All of which goes back to the thesis that Brad and I have been kicking back and forth — that 2008 is the year of the beginning of the enterprise IT spending surge.
*For a long while now I’ve been harping on the role the interactive agencies will be playing in leading the charge in bringing web 2.0 technologies into the forefront of big business adoption. There are many examples throughout my blog where I’ve highlighted their critical role as ambassadors to this new promised land. A lot of these firms are companies you may have never heard of, but they are on the cutting edge of these technologies. Of course, they’re relegated to the marketing silo of enterprises, but it is a start. As I said recently in our Enterprise Irregular group, some of the best advice I can have for our IT clients is to take their CMO to lunch to learn more about web 2.0.
Here is a video from interactive media firm IconNicholson who has been leveraging 2.0 technologies to enhance the customer experience for its clients.
Update: Hat tip from a Tweet from Jeremiah Owyang: AdAge’s ranking of the best 150 Media and Marketing blogs.