More on numbers

June 5, 2010

I just read a paper from academic Clay Shirky (in Online Communication & Collaboration, 2010), which cites the average number of ‘Friends’ on any social networking site as 55.

Facebook’s Press office claim the average is 130. According to ‘InSites Consulting’s’ study published last week of 2800 internet users across 14 countries, it’s actually 195.

Now what that tells me is that academic statistics on social networking instantly lose more value the second they are printed than driving a brand new Porsche 911 off the forecourt.

All we do know is that the numbers are getting bigger. But are they big enough to offer a benefit to my College? 500 followers on Twitter. 106 followers on a targeted Facebook page. It’s small change. Do I really want to invest big time in social networking? I’m still not convinced. What I really want to do is get my customers (‘learners’ – we don’t call them ‘students’ anymore) to do it for me, innit.

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