DailyDirt: Deconstructing Social Networking

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Social networks are clearly a very fashionable field of study right now because they provide an unprecedented volume of records for human interactions that can be mined for trends and correlations... and marketing strategies. Figuring out how viral messages spread could teach us how to educate our peers or to notify people about emergencies or to advertise caffeinated beverages. Here are just a few studies on how people behave in online communities. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post.


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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2012 @ 5:27pm

    yay.

    Figuring out how viral messages spread could teach us how to educate our peers or to notify people about emergencies or to advertise caffeinated beverages.

    Awesome. Because everyone needs more caffeine in their diet.

     

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    Shmerl, Jul 5th, 2012 @ 6:58pm

    If you're looking to create the next Facebook, it might help to know that it's not the absolute number of friends on a social network that encourages new users to join, but the types of friends who are already signed up.
    In new social networks most often you can't friends whom you know already (since naturally those networks are new and not as big and inclusive as old ones like FB or Twitter). I.e. most people you meet there are new acquaintances. But as well noted above, interesting people (even new ones) can be a reason to join. I found that for example in Diaspora* social network I hardly knew anyone from before, but there are lot's of interesting people whom I wouldn't have met otherwise.

    But at present in order for social network to be appealing it should provide something that's lacking in other established examples. Otherwise it's quite hard to compete with heavyweights like Facebook. So Diaspora competes on respecting privacy and decentralized federated design (which both are lacking in Facebook and Google+).

     

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      Shmerl, Jul 5th, 2012 @ 7:03pm

      Re:

      Looks like a word was lost - I meant in new social networks most often you can't find friends whom you know already.

       

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        Michael Ho (profile), Jul 6th, 2012 @ 12:36am

        Re: Re:

        Everyone knows Tom (of MySpace), right? So just make sure everyone befriends a few common people in a new social network... :P

        Diaspora seemed like a cool idea, but it suffers from exactly the "nobody I know is on it" problem. It's probably much easier to build a service that people use independently of a social network (eg. a photo-sharing service or MMORPG) and then turn it into a social network when it hits a tipping point of active users.

         

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          Shmerl, Jul 6th, 2012 @ 12:48am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I can't say Diaspora "suffers" from it. Most people find it an interesting difference to other networks where they know lots of people already. But may be it slows the growth of the network, since some are hesitant and leave FB and etc. behind. Either way, Diaspora continues to grow, even if not very fast.

           

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    Pixelation, Jul 5th, 2012 @ 10:20pm

    Not sure if it has been done but it seems like this is a great opportunity. Do a study and see if the people that you meet and really like in the virtual world are people you would like to hang out with in the "real" world.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2012 @ 5:50am

    Erm all Facebook is good for is gifting on video games lol.. Plus the 5000 limit is lame :( I hit that ages ago for my SHC.

     

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