Walked into the NetSquared meeting in San Francisco with Katie (I work with Katie) last Wednesday and two of the first people we met were Marnie Webb and Billy Bickett of Compumentor. This after being greeted by Britt Bravo and several interesting conversations with Rachel Weidinger. Great first impression of NetSquared.
It is very unusual for me to talk about social factors and technology together and not have people immediately glaze over (I guess I am just that exciting). And here we have 50 plus people actually INTERESTED in the technology and organizations! The west coast really is weird. <grin>
The one funny part was everyone kept asking "you flew all the way out here for this?!?" (the answer is YES)
The first Netsquared presentor was Mena Trott of Six Apart. Mena made some interesting points on the state of social software from experiences at Six Apart. The progression from Publishing to Communication to Community in particular I liked.
Another interesting point from Mena is the observation that the average person on LiveJournal has six (6) friends (see "The Magic Number is 6 by Marnie). I find six people to a group surprising. Much of our focus on distributed authoring is based on the theoretical limit of 150 close friends. Dunbar’s Number is explained on wikipedia as:
In a 1993 article, Dunbar used the correlation observed for non-human primates to predict a social group size for humans. Using a regression equation on data for 36 primate genera, Dunbar predicted a human "mean group size" of 147.8 (casually represented as 150), a result he considered exploratory due to the large error measure (a 95% confidence interval of 100 to 230).
Very interesting…. so much for the monkeysphere. OK, I’m still not sold that 150 isn’t relevant, but the number 6 as the number of friends in a group is very interesting and worthy of much thought.
Seth Mazow of Interplast talked about the challenges of starting the Interplast blog. From organizational limitations (no marketing budget!) to communication challenges and ease of use (reverse chronological vs chronological). Hopefully someone recorded his comments.
You can’t look at the images on the Interplast blog and not feel for those folks. Hopefully I will find a way to help through link love from our medical web design clients.
Back to NetSquared. There are a ton of organizations on the web trying to help non-profit organizations. From software companies focusing just on donation software or big software companies offering academic and non-profit pricing. Yet I know Tendenci with our realistic non-profit pricing is relevant and different. We do not offer it for free. We can’t until Dell donates all of their servers and all of our employees start working for free. Nor does Compumentor pay their 100 plus employees with just good wishes. So the NetSquared group strikes me as pragmatic folk, but realistic. I like that.