The power of 12 MAY 22 2002
Internet navigators think small. One of the most interesting talks at the Etech conference was Clay Shirky's presentation on the User Patterns on LiveJournal. In it, he noted that on LiveJournal, people tend to tightly cluster into small groups which are themselves more loosely clustered into larger groups (and so on). When he studied this data, he found that groups of ~12 people are different than smaller or larger groups. There's a satisfying user experience that happens at that size: the group is big enough to have a variety of viewpoints and opinions but small enough so that everyone knows each other fairly well.