I can’t take credit for this conceptual diagram, but I think it’s great. And there are so many parallels that can be drawn. Firstly, it’s the concept not of your social net, with lines connecting here and there, but it’s that of your own social solar sytem, as laid out by David Armano on his Logic + Emotion blog:
Aside from David’s comments on this diagram, there are a few things that I’d like to add from my own personal experience.
Gravity is strongest at the center, and decreases the further you go out. This means those social planets on the outskirts of your solar system may sometimes not get the attention/pull they need from the center to keep them in the system. I think that’s ok, because it allows us to focus strongly on the things we feel are most important to our own system, instead of spreading ourselves thin over multiple sites. I have a friend who I swear uses every single social networking tool available. But, his very career focuses on blogsphere analysis. Most of us don’t have that luxury, so we try and do everything along with a 40+ hour work week (or in my case, school week). Let me tell you much I’d rather focus on my blog than try and update my status on Facebook every two minutes. So, sometimes it’s ok to let the smaller planets drift off into another solar system, or really analyze what makes a planet a planet… heck, we booted Pluto from the solar system!
The planets closest to you, the sun, should be the most important. They are the ones that get the most energy from you, the most life (ignore the fact that Mercury is too hot for life to exist). The ones most personal to you, your blog, or for some it might be Facebook. Whatever it is, again, don’t spread yourself too thin on the other stuff and ignore how important those are.