Dunbar's Number

I first came across Dunbar's Number at Seth Godin's blog. He writes,

Dunbar postulated that the typical human being can only have 150 friends. One hundred fifty people in the tribe. After that, we just aren't cognitively organized to handle and track new people easily. That's why, without external forces, human tribes tend to split in two after they reach this size. It's why WL Gore limits the size of their offices to 150 (when they grow, they build a whole new building).

Facebook and Twitter and blogs fly in the face of Dunbar's number. They put hundreds or thousands of friendlies in front of us, people we would have lost touch with (why? because of Dunbar!) except that they keep digitally reappearing.

This concept has intrigued me.

I have a lot of ideas and one idea I have to get around this no. of 150 (assuming that the number is correct) is to begin relating to people without thinking about how they are connected to our circle of 'friends'. As in if I am chatting with a Rahul (there are lot of Rahul's) do I need to know he is some Amit's friend?

When chatting with them just focus on having constructive conversations rather than bothering with how they fit into my network.. i.e. their job details or mutual friends or other such specific info.

Generally when we are talking to someone we often find topics of conversation from whatever we know of them, but here since we are crossing D's number we start talking by stuff we know like daily stuff, or recent movie or political stuff or maybe yapping about yourself :D

I think this might help networking with the 151+ people. What do you'l think?

(picture credit)

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