@dustcube I sometimes wonder whether there is something like a Zone of Proximal Social Development (cfr Zone of proximal development, but then from a social profiling viewpoint). Where people do link with each other if there is a specific (mutual) trigger. I have been wondering about it, starting from a personal perspective: how do I decide who to connect with, both in formal and informal settings. Who are my friends (professional and personal), and when thinking about it, there seems to be a pattern. One of the people I immediately could follow from an informal perspective was a new colleague Bart Rienties, and as we were talking, he shared papers that he wrote on a slightly similar subject.
Bart Rienties (now OU-related) started investigating why people connect. I followed an interesting seminar that he gave, and can be seen here: http://stadium.open.ac.uk/stadia/preview.php?s=29&whichevent=2377&option=both&record=0
Hommes, J., Rienties, B., de Grave, W., Bos, G., Schuwirth, L., & Scherpbier, A. (2012). Visualising the invisible: a network approach to reveal the informal social side of student learning. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 17(5), 743-757. doi: 10.1007/s10459-012-9349-0
Retrievable from: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10459-012-9349-0
Rienties, B., Héliot, Y., & Jindal-Snape, D. (2013). Understanding social learning relations of international students in a large classroom using social network analysis. Higher Education, 66(4), 489-504. Retrievable from