Smaller groups

May 1, 2007

I’ve been thinking about the motivation behind joining a social network. What value to people get from joining?

The obvious answer is community.  That’s the first thing that comes to mind. But, why? Individuals spend years trying to find which groups they belong to and which groups most closely match their identity. But, even then, there is a further sub-division of people into smaller cliques, based off of a higher correlation of common lifestyles. This sub-division into smaller groups seems to happen in every social group I’ve ever belonged to.

For instance, a group of community volunteers may sub-divide into smaller groups – the men who enjoy college football spend more time associating with each other; the group of married women who have small children between the ages of 3-7 spend time huddled together sharing toddler tips and stories; and the group of people (men and women) who enjoy jazz music idle off to the side debating the virtues of Mile Davis.  So, although everyone is  there for a common reason, the community splits into smaller groups.

How will online social media mimic this?