Home > Friends, LinkedIn, Personal Network, Twitter > Twittering and a Dunbar discovery

Twittering and a Dunbar discovery

Well – I’ve finally done it! I’m on twitter… I’ve got to bolt the doors to the house tonight – because about 6 months ago I did tell a couple of friends that “If I ever start twittering – please shoot me!”. It’s part of my research – so finally, I’ve taken the plunge.

If you want to find me – I am apparently @personalnetwork. Once I can understand what’s going on – I will start to twitter. It’s quite daunting.

My conversion was down to a comment on my last post (made on a private LinkedIn Group where my blog is re-broadcast). The commenter made a good case

…..Thank you for visiting. My blog has moved. You can find the rest of this post by clicking here.

for twitter being a great tool to reach an audience. Well, I’m ready for more than 20 hits on this blog a day (I once had over 50, you know) – so I thought I’d give it a try.

Call it beginners luck, but just found a wonderful tweet from a slightly scary looking tweeter called Howard Rheingold.

Key point of his twitter was “For boys, relationships R strengthened by doing things together; 4 girls, by talking.” Even better than that, his source lead to an excellent video of a lecture by Robin Dunbar (yes, you know Dunbar’s Number) at Oxford University.

There are some real nuggets in his lecture. Things like “Big Brains = Big Social Networks” – and I always thought getting lots of connections in LinkedIn was willy wanging! I’m off to get more friends (to compliment my new twitter account) – and prove I do have a HUGE brain.

Robin Dunbar is excellent in the video – makes me wish I’d had a University education. He uses simple slides to explain his theory, maintains that even with lots of maintenance those weak ties will drop away to his 150 – and is humble enough to tell us that Aristotle and Plato got these numbers right well before he did.

He continues to justify his 150 in simple form. He shows a bar chart analysis of the average number of people we send Christmas Cards to, cites military units and tells us that even Facebook recently analysed their network and the average friends per user was 120-130 (very near).

I like his style. Explaining a complex, well research subject in a fun way. He’s happy to intersperse his serious research with a bit of fun. He analysed that boys spend on average 7.3 seconds on a phone call, whereas girls spend massive amounts of time on the phone!! I like amusing academics….

  1. November 24, 2010 at 12:47 am | #1

    I will be the one that gets shot if I ever twitter… but who knows… with the need to get the 3Rs project rolling, you may yet catch me at it… Good luck on twittering Phil…! I give you 3 months before you jettison it!

  2. November 24, 2010 at 9:53 am | #2

    Hi Laury – please can I count on you to be the sort of friend who tells me when I become a twittering twit? Clock is ticking – let’s see how it goes. P

  3. November 25, 2010 at 10:15 am | #3

    Hi Phil- I have 2 accounts on Twitter one @Official_NFFC and @GreatSnorer. I have had them now for nearly 2 years and I can understand the commercial value of the Forest one, my own I see no value in at all and I am regularly unfollowing people as I get fed up of the drivel that comes through.

    Facebook is a different thing as that is a powerful communicator with friends and lost friends although it can become tedious when someone who you vaguely know wants to become “your friend” which is when I regularly use the ignoe button!

    • November 25, 2010 at 11:00 am | #4

      Hi Geoff. Nice to hear from you. Off to subscribe (or is it follow?) to @GreatSnorer. Thanks for advice on multiple accounts, Facebook – and the magic ignore button. See you soon. Real-World Lunch beckons… P

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