Five characteristics of social networks, as discovered through research conducted by Shiv Singh:
1. High growth – in the 5 million people or more range, networks start to experience growth acceleration.
2. Large social networks have three types of “clouds” – the “giant” one – those tied to the centre of the social network or the network itself, the “middletons” and the singletons – these last are the random people who have joined because they were told to and aren’t quite sure what to do. The middletons are the ones who form the subnetworks or network ghettos – they are the active component that causes a network to thrive.
3. You’re never building one social network or one social media solution – they all interact and inter-react within the enterprise.
4. Within the enterprise, we don’t always want to share, and that will take time to change. Social networks that encourage reciprosity do very well (i.e. you not only give something, like info, but also get something else out).
5. As a network grows in size, you start loosing members – people lose interest when it gets quite big, they feel like they have lost control of their information. A fear thing starts to happen and they opt out.