I first ran into it in Malcolm Gladwell's, The Tipping Point. It was next mentioned in Blink, which is another Gladwell work and now in a BusinessWeek article talking to the potential demise of Twitter. The theory dovetails with social networks and collaboration specifically due its proclamation that as humans we can handle only 150 -active- relationships.
Interestingly, and to no surprise all relationships are not created equal. There are numerous factors that make, and keep relationships sticky. Topping the list is relevance. Much the same as with explicit and tacit knowledge the relationship between our immediate goals and popular data is driven by its alignment with these goals. This is an appropriate point to introduce search and context. Moreover how they play off each other.
Search is the cornerstone of collaboration however a mountain of data is just that....a mountain of data. Fundamentally, a search result that resembles a regurgitation more than an ordered representation of relevant data is simply unacceptable.
When talking about collaboration it's important to outline the role of search. More importantly how the foundational layer of collaboration is search. This responsibility within T+C is handled by the Lucene search engine which is highly reliable and stable. Looking further under the kimono there are some shortcomings the search engine has in the area of scalability and in the non-technical arena of brand equity.
Is this a deal breaker?
NO. Much like with any solution there are shortcomings and components that you I and maybe even your mother would like to see integrated, removed or at least 'fixed'. That being the case it's important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your solution. Depending on what your focus is, it might even be more appropriate to be able to articulate why a particular, perceived weakness is nothing more than a misnomer.
So how does all of this mumbo jumbo relate to Dunbar's number and Twitter. At a high level the article talks to flaws in it's revenue stream but more importantly it relates these finding back to the ever present collaborative solution.
Disclaimer: As with everything else at Cool Solutions, this content is definitely not supported by Novell (so don't even think of calling Support if you try something and it blows up).
It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test, test, test before you do anything drastic with it.