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Reverse Network Effects

http://www.wired.com/2014/03/reverse-network-effects-todays-social-networks-can-fail-grow-larger/

 

The author makes very strong arguments when describing how, for web services, networks effects can work in reverse and the growth of a network can lower the value of the service. The article does a very good job discussing the factors that make network effects work. These factors are listed as connection, content, and clout. Then, these factors are discussed in ways that could make them work in reverse. Compelling arguments are made to how they could work in reverse, and these arguments are connected to commentary of specific web services by describing how web services are living and dying by these network phenomena.

A connection of network phenomena to demonstrate why one web service succeeded when others failed is an extremely compelling way to demonstrate the effects. The failures of Chatroulette and Orkut are contrasted with the successes or LinkedIn to discuss how barriers to communication in the network, termed friction, can offset negative aspects of network growth. Relating this to class, creating friction in the network where necessary can change the equation of the network effects.

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