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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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The Myriad Future of Social Networks

December 29, 2011, 10:04 AM

What's the Latest Development?

Facebook is set to confirm its place in the sun with the biggest IPO since 1999, just before the tech bubble burst. An offering of $10 billion could make the company worth $100 billion, making thousands of new millionaires in the process. But the sun will inevitably set on Zuckerberg & Co., won't it? Don't count on it, says Alexis Madrigal. While we typically think of business as a survival of the fittest game, evolution works in other ways that more accurately represents the future of online social networks.  

What's the Big Idea?

What began has Facebook has become Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Quora, Skype, Yelp, Pinterest, and Rdio. Social networks have evolved by diversifying. They have not obeyed a crude food chain where the big fish keeps eating the little fish, or maybe they have, but plenty of little fish have managed to survive, and now many are thriving. There will be no 'Next Facebook'. Many overlapping social networks will work to fill different social niches, which is how evolution would have it.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com



The Myriad Future of Social...

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