The Fundraising Factory - Posts Tagged ‘tribes’

Social Networking 150

Thursday, June 30th, 2011
To find someone who doesn’t participate in social networking on some level is highly unusual.  Facebook and Twitter alone have over 1 billion users.  People are constantly checking the latest news feed or punching out a Twitter post on their iphone.  It seems that people have more friends now than at any other time in their life.  Do you every look at the list of friends or fans on Facebook?  These numbers are mind boggling to me. How can one be friends with over 1,000 people?  Or how can one Tweeter have so many followers?  I don’t ask these questions in envy, as I can barely find time to call or spend time with a dozen close friends.    But I have wondered-what is the point in having such a far reaching network?   Well, my question has been answered.  At least to some degree…An article written by Chris Taylor, Social Networking ‘Utopia” Isn’t Coming looked at how many real connections Twitter users have.  A study was conducted to determine how many people you can maintain contact with online before you are overwhelmed.
The study showed that we are hardwired to network in tight groups of 150.  This has been the magic number in communities, tribes and successful corporations.  We can comfortably manage 150 friends, business associates, connections and peers.   Rather than targeting 1,000 friends or followers with social interaction that is oftentimes meaningless to most, we can develop stronger relationships and messaging if we focus on a smaller group of people who share our interests, desires and business sense.  What the article does point out is that social networking allows us to select the 150 people we want as part of our virtual tribe.  It has broken down the barriers of proximity.
With this knowledge, I wonder if it makes sense to friend and tweet those that care about your cause and maximize the 150. Will we find that meaningful interactions with a smaller group of passionate followers generate deeper results?  I don’t know but I’ll bet someone is tweeting about it right now.