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Communities and Social Networks

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —November 26, 2004
Filed in Collaboration

Matt Moore made a good comment in response to my last blog entry

I have recently been trying to link the thinking on Small World Networks http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/June98/smallworld.bs.html to communities. If you see communities of interest as social networks consisting of tight clusters and loose links then you need to apply different strategies to grow the tight clusters than those to grow the loose links.

One of the thoughts sparked reading Duncan Watts’ book, Six Degree of Seperation, is just how important boundary riders are to reduce the degrees of seperation. Watts’ research show how it only requires a one or two boundary riders to reduce the seperation considerably between, say, two communities while there is a threshold where adding more connectors provide no additional connectivity. By adding just a few boundary riders you increase the number of weak ties, which Granovetter showed helps people find new knowledge. A good thing for a community of practice, I think.

About  Shawn Callahan

Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on:

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