FIVE YEARS AGO on this blog, before the rise of the social media experts, we thought there were inherent limitations in social networks. I think these limitations still exist:
-- On 29 Nov 03: "Social network software feels very bubblesque." Today: Even the most vibrant ecosystem (see right) has a bubbly feel to it, like it cannot truly scale to a meaningful conversation hub linking millions so it has to strip functionality (i.e., IM hooks or SMS-out) to ensure real-time performance.
-- On 29 Nov 03: "Connecting people through people seems compelling, but people need help with complicated tasks (finding a job, an apartment) not complications surrounding new network nodes." Today: Are you really giving up email for direct messaging from microblogging?
-- On 29 Nov 03: "In my experience, the best social networks are the smallest." I'm constrained by the Dunbar Number and by the satisfaction of knowing that my real social network fits inside a 25-man life raft.