The goal of good collaboration networks over time are to build up ever more valuable repositories of information. The contributors may evolve and change over time, just as the personal connections and relationships that grow from sharing the information may mutate and change, but the body of knowledge and interconnected ‘business fabric’ grows cumulatively ever stronger.
If you have a “closed” network, where everyone pretty much knows or knows about each other. A good aspect of this connectivity is that the network can serve as a filter — multiple tweets or retweets about a topic link usually means it’s worth following — and its possible to generate a common language. However, it’s not likely that the richest source of creativity — two unlikely ideas coming together — will occur. You need (or the organization needs) to have connections outside the group. As Burt puts it (using one of my favorite phrases ever, the title of this blog), “People who live in the intersection of social worlds ‘are at higher risk of having good ideas.”