Life With Alacrity

A blog on social software, collaboration, trust, security, privacy, and internet tools by Christopher Allen.

Tag: Group Sizes

Community by the Numbers, Part III: Power Laws

In my first article in this series I talked about community numbers: how the sizes of groups ultimately affect their success (or failure). However what I discussed only offers up the most rudimentary explanation of the dynamics, and that is because typically not all of the members of a group are equally involved. In order to better define who constitutes the tightly-knit "participant community" upon which the group thresholds act, we have to study power laws which let us measure the intensity of individuals' involvement in a group.

Dunbar & World of Warcraft

In my initial blog entry on the Dunbar Number I presented some statistics on group sizes based on the online game Ultimata Online. In it you could clearly see the power-law (pareto) curve, with diminishing returns at around 150, with most groups being 60 in size: More recently, Nick Yee and other researchers at the PlayOn Blog have been researching the behaviors of players in the popular World of Warcraft online game.