Jackie has a nice post about hubs, networks and their emergence. Emergence is a specific term that means something that seems to be chaotic in fact has a structure, which emerges out of the complexity and chaos, over time. Molly as a good overview of hubs and networks and how they grow. Note, what is joined (linked) is not random, which means a link expresses an intelligible connection (e.g. this is related to that). And as a result clusters form. This happens on the web. It happens in hypertextual work that you make yourself. Molly also has a really good outline of power laws and bell curves. Kimberely notes the point that heavily linked nodes tend to be linked to more often. This promotes the power law imbalance, but also is why you link to the tail (so is for example one reason why these posts keep linking out to you). It really is a bit like not trying to be friends with the most popular kid in school but making friends with people less popular because they are worth knowing. Denahm has a really good illustrated post on this stuff, read it.

Daniel thinks about link decay. He’s right, links decay over time. The web is an amazing system which we take for granted, but it doesn’t break when pages or entire sites go away (and you get a 404 error message). Try reading a book with missing pages. A TV show with missing segments. It is an extraordinary model that can tolerate things dying and disappearing. Again, this is the opposite of previous media. Rebecca wants to know if a network has a boundary, and outer edge. The sort of network being discussed here is called a scale free network, and as the name implies, no. The web has no outer edge, there is no reason it can’t keep on growing.