When we think about social networks—we tend to focus on the connecting nodes. The links that bind us and what makes a network, a network. But the less frequently told story is the one where we spend countless hours building and maintaining our own little "social solar systems". In these "social systems" we have multiple planetary ecosystems revolving around us.
We are the center of our own micro-universe.
The related concept of a "social graph" is difficult to explain, but social systems is easy. Many of us are now managing multiple social ecosystems. If you think of these as planets—some rotate in closer proximity to us. We "warm" them with our attention frequently. Others may orbit at further proximities—but they are still in our social systems. When we abandon a social ecosystem that we can no longer sustain, it drifts away from our orbit and dies. Many of us have had these experiences.
But when we find ourselves as the supplier of light in our self-created microverse, the implications become clear. There are only so many ecosystems that we can meaningfully sustain. And I suppose if you were to zoom out of this specific "social system"—you might encounter others. The number could be infinite. And maybe it would look a little like this.