Many folks are really excited about FriendFeed. Personally, I have found that there are a lot more comments when something gets posted on FriendFeed. Recently Yuval Atzmon's User21 blog released a list of most followed users on FriendFeed. Since I too had a crawl of FriendFeed running in much the same way as Yuval, I decided to look at the complementary question: "How many users do people follow on FriendFeed"? While the crawl is not yet complete (and complete statistics would have to wait), the numbers are really striking! Some users follow more than a 1000 "friends":
I find this really amazing. Unlike Twitter, FriendFeed posts are accompanied with longer conversations so it can be more involved. I can barely keep up with all the information flying past me everywhere right now! I guess, 1500+ "friends" would be way too much for me!
Sociologists often talk about the Dunbar's Number which
is the supposed cognitive limit to the number of individuals with whom any one person can maintain stable social relationships.
In human contact network the Dunbar's number is said to be around 150. It might as well be the case that social tools and especially, microblogging is pushing this limit further. Studies on Twitter, Livejournal and other social networking sites seem to support this observation. I wonder then: what would be the Dunbar's number on social networks? 300? 500??? Any guesses? Perhaps some comparison across all the published papers that have studied different social networks might have some clues.
[BTW, I am akshayjava on FriendFeed]