Back during my MBA, I learned about network effects. Simply put, a service (for us, a blog) becomes more valuable as more and more people use it, mainly because every user functions as a switchboard connecting many (until then) unknown people together.
Think of it like this.
I have a Telephone. Noone else does. Who can I call? Noone.
You have a Telephone, so do I. You can call me, I can call you. That’s one call (Talk combinations possible- 1 – You and I).
John (J) gets a phone. You(Y) and John don’t know each other. Now you can call John, I can call John, and he can call both of us. Or three of us can be on the phone together. (Talk combinations possible – 4 – IY, IJ, YJ, IJY)
Priyanka gets a phone. Now John can Call Priyanka, me and you. Same for Priyanka. Also for me and you. One of us could choose to call two others on conference but not the third. (Talk combinations possible – 11 – IY, IJ, IP, YJ, YP, JP, IYP, IYJ, IJP, JPY, IYJP)
So now with 4 phones in the network, the number of conversations possible has increased in a proportion exponentially greater than the number of people added to the network.
This diagram exposes 1-1 connections :
In fact, network effects are the magic ingredients that make sites like FlickR, MySpace, Orkut, Friendster so appealing. Every time a person joins Facebook, the number of connections he can make and every other person who has a Facebook Account can make goes up exponentially.
Same is true of the local mall. Every time a vacant spot in the mall is taken by a new retailer, the value of the mall goes up exponentially, the value of being in that mall for the other shopkeepers goes up exponentially.
Or of the local stock exchange.
Or of your rail or bus network.
In fact, it is also true of most social spaces that thrive on collaboration.
So, when I read Scott’s post on Top Edublogs, I started thinking of the Long Tail– the hundreds of thousands of brilliant bloggers with exciting ideas on education that have got themselves the tools to belong to a network, but still haven’t logged on. They have a blog but know of no tools to connect to the EduBlog network or have had less time/patience/energy to do so. We are missing out on voices what are yearning to think thoughts and inject ideas you and I would love to think and collaborate on.
Every one of these voices would exponentially improve the conversation in the blogosphere.
So starting today I am going to, every two weeks, introduce a less read EduBlogger to you through this blog. My three criteria for identifying a less read and definitely-readable EduBlogger?
a) A Technorati Authority of
10 25 or less- this would, according to Scott’s analysis, be all blogs outside the top 500 320.
b) The blog should have have had one post in the last 10 days and at least 5 in the last two months (this would give me a large enough sample of posts to decide on whether the writing appeals to me as also to exclude bloggers who write sporadically).
c) Focus on personal, opinion-driven writing, rather than on posts linking to other writing without comments by the writer himself.
Look out for the first of the New Blogger Introductions today.
Update: Click right here to see our first featured Ebublogger in this series.
Also: Click here to see our latest EduPosts.