150 – Group Tipping Point?
So I've been reading The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell which is a fascinating book. I just finished the chapter about groups of 150. For those of you who haven't read the book here's a quick summary of this idea via, http://tinyurl.com/45rhj THE MAGIC NUMBER 150 "There seems to be some limitation built into us either by learning or by the design of the nervous systems, a limit that keeps our channel capacities in this general range (i.e. the human minds inability to comprehend things beyond sets 7)" George Miller "The Magical Number Seven" "The figure of 150 seems to represent the maximum number of individuals with whom we can have a genuinely social relationship, the kind of relationship that goes with knowing who they are and how they relate to us. Putting it another way, it's the number of people you would not feel embarrassed about joining uninvited for a drink if you happened to bump into them in a bar." Robin Dunbar, 1. Even relatively small increases in the size of a group [beyond 150] creates a significant additional social and intellectual burden. 2. The rule of 150 suggests that the size of a group is another one of those subtle contextual factors that can make a big difference. 3. Peer pressure is much more powerful than a concept of a boss 4. Transactive memory: we store information with other people. Since mental energy is limited, we concentrate on what we do best. 5. Groups of 150 are an organized mechanism that makes it far easier for new ideas and information moving around the organization to tip; to go from one person or one part of the group to the entire group all at once. So this got me thinking about how, it seems to me, the tone and demeanor of the group has altered in the last couple of weeks. Now I know this group is larger than 1000 people but most don't post at all. To me the group feels like a group of the people who post regularly. So I went back and counted how many people posted at least twice in the last month. My quick count - 145! Could it be that this group is reacting not to any individual or small group of posters but rather have we begun to reach "the maximum number of individuals with whom we can have a genuinely social relationship?" Verdi http://michaelverdi.com http://freevlog.org