Robert Scoble had a post on the Scobleizer Blog last week asking (actually quoting Evan Williams) what would a social network with only ten members be like? Scoble cringed at the thought. He did admit that a family is a lot like a micro social network, but one could tell that Scoble, who has one of the largest online social networks in cyberspace (He has so many members that his Facebook friends list is full) could not imagine being limited in whom he has in his circle.
However, not everyone can manage GIANT numbers like Scoble, who is successful in finding ways to connect with his thousands of online social contacts. Most people top out at being able to interact with 100 - 200 people and actually have some kind of relationship. It takes time and dedicated "give and take", not just random digital links to have true connections. Scoble will actually respond to those in his social network and read their stuff on blogs and twitter if it trips his interest. He has read my blog and sent me emails and twitter-grams from time to time. While I have never met him, he does practice what he preaches in regards to social networking!
As for a network of only ten? I think that depends on who are the other nine people. Some have great success focusing on very small numbers of committed friends. Think high school….I had a large group of friends, but some had just one close friend. Neither is the “right” answer, as many who had small circles had great times with amazing friends in school. It is not right or wrong….just what works for the individual.
The problem with these online social networking and new media sites is that everyone thinks their way of using the tool is the best way. Many are about quantity of links, others are focused on quality of relationships. Time will morph all of this (things change fast on the internet), but for now it is all too new. If you can have a group of then that meets your personal and professional needs, then that is the right number. Finding one person who can fill your world with phenomenal opportunities is enough to change your life!
Networking is not about the "right" number of people in your network, it is about finding the right people who will make a difference in your life.
Have A Great Day.thom