If you want to build a social network and you look at those that have already been successful, such as Facebook, you will be late in the evolutionary race of Web 2.0; keep in mind that the successful social networks in 2006 were better than those of 2005 and worse than those that emerged in 2007, so at this time it is better to forget about Linkedin, Youtube and Orkut to seek a greater perspective, that point of view further away from the news of Techcrunch can give you the idea of the complexityand in particular the emerging systems.
Emerging systems is a 2001 book written by Steven JohnsonThe work is based on sixty years of research in fields such as biology, mathematics, computer science and urban planning. Based on the difference in behavior between a simple element and a large system made up of many such elements, he comes to the conclusion that "more is different", the slogan of the theory of complexity. I have put all this in to see that the conclusions obtained from the behavior of ants can help us to understand the functioning of an Internet social network, as well as many other complex systems.
Ignorance is useful. Emerging systems can become unmanageable when their elements are excessively complex.
Encouraging casual encounters. The encounters between elements of the system are individually arbitrary but together they allow to measure and alter the macro state of the whole system.
Look for patterns in the signs. Recognizing the signs of various elements of the system provides information about the overall state.
Paying attention to your neighbors. Local information leads to global wisdom.
Entry published in December 2008 in madri+d