Malcolm Gladwell has a superb ability to reflect and distill trends and find relevance from bygone generations. He has done it again in his New Yorker piece on October 4, 2010. If you have any interest in understanding social networks, “Small Change: Why the Revolution will not be tweeted” is a must read and I mean right now.
The key point is that social networks are built around weak ties, not strong ones. There’s nothing wrong with this, its just different, and the example of the sit-ins that began in the early sixties and engulfed the south in a civil rights war had little to do with technology and much to do with mission, strategy, heirarchy and leadership.