Posts Tagged ‘Beware’

Beware of Dictators Running Very Small Social Networks

Beware of Dictators Running Very Small Social Networks

For those who specialize in an industry, hobby, or share some unique experience of the human endeavor there are 10s of thousands of online social networks to join. However, one has to be very careful on which ones they join. Many of these very small networks are small for a reason, and psychologists find this phenomena very fascinating. Here is what they’ve learned.

Often, a person who feels outcast from a larger group, decides to open their own little social network. Of course, such a person often has problems with dealing with large online social networks. In fact, they find themselves at odds with everyone there. This is due to psychological problems that are personal, they have trouble getting along. So, they start their own little group, one they can control.

Other who are psychologically okay unknowingly join these groups and find themselves in conflict with the originator or the individual that started it who wants to be a control freak. Unfortunately, this is all too common, as the owner of the new social network has set it up for themselves, for personal reasons and not really for the others who come on board later. They don’t share well.

After studying the Ning Network which is a group of online social networks, most are very small but some that are quite large we find a very interesting dynamic. There are very small groups that never grow very large such as ReadersAnonymous on Ning with barely a couple of dozen members (run by a gal named Trisha), and huge groups like Team Sarah with almost 70,000 members (supporting Sarah Palin for a possible Presidential Run in 2012).

The smaller groups often have a “personality disorder” much like a dysfunctional family, and if you join one of these groups thinking you are getting in on the ground floor, you just might find out that it never was very large and never will be due to the “control factor” or problematic personalities of those who run them, at least this is what psychologists that study such things show in their research.

Cite (1): “Relationships and Unethical Behavior: A Social Network Perspective” Researchers; Daniel J. Brass, Kenneth D. Butterfield and Bruce C. Skaggs. The Academy of Management Review, Vol. 23, No. 1 (Jan 1998).

Cite (2): Social Networks and Aggressive Behavior: Peer Support or Peer Rejection? RB Cairns, Developmental Psychology 1998. [especially great in describing where this dictatorial behavior originates and how much help these people really need, as well as empathy for their social challenges, behavior and poor skills in dealing with people].

Lance Winslow – Lance Winslow’s Bio. Lance Winslow is also Founder of the Detail Guys, a cool little Franchise Company; http://www.detailguys.com/founder.shtml/.

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