One of the five keys is that successful social networks should facilitate interaction among a close-knit, pre-existing circle of companions who have existing relationships. In other words, I should be able to find my friends on the site.
But there’s an exception to this rule…
“The exception to the friends characteristic are groups that coalesce around profound experiences, such as pregnancy and childbirth or a cancer diagnosis. These groups form expressly to connect with strangers who are sharing the same experience. However, other characteristics certainly apply.”
What I like about this is that eNeighbors is the perfect example for the exception rule. You probably don’t know every person that lives in your neighborhood, but you still share common interests, goals, and concerns.
The other great thing I like about Andrew’s explanation of the exception is that this common experience connects these previously disparate people. eNeighbors takes it a step further — you can literally connect with these people right outside your front door, face to face.
I know, it’s shocking to think of real, physical interaction with people in this ever-increasing online world. Maybe that’s the defining point of a “highly” successful social network. After all, that’s what MySpace started doing with band concerts.