CHAPTER 5 – BREAD | MOBILE | SOCIAL
The bread distribution story was recounted in Paul Seabright’s masterpiece about economic networks, The Company of Strangers: A Natural History of Economic Life, 2nd ed. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010). A slightly different version of the story was presented by Jonas Eliasson at a September 2012 TED conference.
Tom Anderson, who called himself “Lord Flathead,” was a computer hacker from the tender age of 13. There are many articles about his early days, including a comprehensive one by Michael Arrington of Tech Crunch titled “MySpace Cofounder Tom Anderson Was a Real Life ‘WarGames’ Hacker in the 1980s,” printed in August 30, 2008.
This section references Wired for Thought: How the Brain Is Shaping the Future of the Internet (Boston: Harvard Business Press, 2009)
The original research for Robin Dunbar’s number was on primates: “Neocortex Size as a Constraint on Group Size in Primates,” Journal of Human Evolution 20 (1992): 469–493. Dunbar later went on to write a book that went into deeper detail: Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1998). His work on human social networks is summed up in this article: “Social Network Size in Humans,” Human Nature, 14, no. 1 (2003): 53–72. A number of great studies have applied Dunbar’s number to the internet in general and to social networks in particular. See Bruno Goncalves, Nicola Perra, and Alessandro Vespignani, “Modeling Users’ Activity on Twitter Networks: Validation of Dunbar’s Number,” Bulletin of the American Physical Society 57, no. 1 (2012); or Russell Hill, R. Alexander Bentley, and Robin Dunbar, “Network Scaling Reveals Consistent Fractal Pattern in Hierarchical Mammalian Societies,” Biology Letters 4, no. 6 (2008): 748–751.
Edison Research found in June 2012 that the average Facebook user has 262 friends. Their report is called “The Social Habit 2012.”
The network of the brain is built on clusters of neurons, each tightly connected. These clusters then connect to other clusters and eventually form one network composed of many subnetworks—a “network of networks.” The beauty of this is that the brain allows the overall network to grow while maintaining equilibrium within its subnetworks. This is very similar to the strategy that Facebook employed in the early days of the network’s growth.
Facebook’s web versus mobile stats, as well as the other social networks, are from the aforementioned Nielsen social media report.
Writer Paul Boutin outlined new features released for Facebook’s mobile interface in a January 2, 2013, article in the New York Times titled “More Facebook Changes, Aimed at Users on the Go.”
Google’s Horowitz made his remarks during a 2012 conference in New York City. It was reported on by Steve Kovach in Business Insider on November 28, 2012 in his article entitled “The Google+ Boss Just Brilliantly Deconstructed Everything Annoying About Facebook.”
Mark Zuckerberg’s quote about Instagram comes from an April 9, 2012, New York Times article titled “Facebook Buys Instagram for $1 Billion” by Evelyn M. Rusli. New York Times pulled the quote from Zuckerberg’s Facebook profile page.
The always insightful Kevin Kelly has several great TED talks. If you only watch one, my favorite is “The Next 5,000 Days of the Web” from 2007 where this quote comes from.
Stories of social media gaffes are literally everywhere you look. The story of a Canadian woman named Nathalie Blanchard who lost her disability benefits was reported by Ki Mae Heussner of ABC News on November 23, 2009: “Woman Loses Benefits after Posting Facebook Pics.” Mashable reported on June 28, 2010, “Facebook Becoming a Prime Source for Divorce Case Evidence.” The Washington Post’s Katie Rogers reported “Kenneth Cole’s Egypt Tweet” on February 3, 2011. The New York Times reported on the Domino’s video prank on April 15, 2009, (“Video Prank at Domino’s Taints Brand”), and USA Today reported on Taco Bell’s beef lawsuit on April 21, 2011, (“Yum Execs: Lawsuit Still Hurting Taco Bell Sales).