Social networks and Human behavior – Why few social networks are successful?

Ever wondered why only a few social network work, and others not? Why few networks are a super success while others (packed with better features) struggle to even catch an eyeball?

Josh of Social Design shares his interesting insights on human behavior. Most of these behavioral aspects can be applied to building a great community. I am reproducing the list as-is : it’s really worth reading all of the points.

  • Humans constantly search out ways to communicate more efficiently.
  • The primary use of the Internet is communication.
  • People play different roles in different parts of their life.
  • People tend to connect to those people they are similar to.
  • Who we are similar to depends upon our situation and goals.
  • Over-similarity can lead to group-think.
  • Unpredictable behavior emerges within groups over time.
  • People act differently in groups than they do individually.
  • The people we know greatly influence how we act.
  • People usually compare themselves to those in their social group, not society at large.
  • Humans aren’t always rational, but are usually self-interested.
  • When humans are uncertain, we rely on social connections to help us out.
  • We have biases that we aren’t conscious of.
  • Because life in not deterministic, we cannot always predict human behavior.

Take a look at successful social networks like Orkut and Facebook – at their core lies the basic social structure that empowers people to connect to each other and share their life.
Also, the earlier facebook controversy (or even Digg riots) reinforces that fact that humans are not at all rational (and group behavior is very different from individual behavior).

What do you think? Do you disagree with any of the above mentioned points? Do you see any Indian social network meeting any of the criterias here?
I’d love to know your thoughts.

Related: What’s the missing link in Indian social networks?

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