Tag: social-networking

  • How Trends Actually Spread; or, Six Degrees but No Connectors

    The small sample size of Stanley Milgram’s small world experiment¬†means that the theory of ‘six degrees of separation’¬†and the conclusion drawn from it–primarily, the Influential’s theory popularised by Malcolm Gladwell in The Tipping Point–could be deeply flawed. That was the starting point for Duncan Watts‘ research that led him to say “the Tipping Point is…

  • Inventive Ways to Control Trolls

    To keep the peace on the ever-expanding Stack Exchange Network of online communities, owners Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood introduced the timed suspension of disruptive users’ accounts. Over time the transparency of the timed suspension process proved to be occasionally inefficient when discussions arose regarding the merits of certain suspensions. This led the administrators of…

  • A Summary of Happiness Research

    David Brooks brings ‘happiness research’ back to the wider public’s attention with a succinct summary of research into what does and does not make us happy: Would you exchange a tremendous professional triumph for a severe personal blow? [‚Ķ] If you had to take more than three seconds to think about this question, you are…

  • Social Networks and Their Far-Reaching Influence

    In a short and balanced review of Connected–“a scientific look at the ties that bind us together”–we are treated to some interesting findings on social networks and their myriad external effects–including how far these effects ‘travel’ through said networks. Controlling for environmental factors and the tendency of birds of a feather to flock together [‚Ķ]…

  • Making Applications Viral, Without Spam

    Virality isn’t¬†an¬†indispensable¬†feature of all successful¬†applications, but for those where it can be hugely beneficial there are four core principles that help the virality of an application, says Daniel Tanner: Invitation should be a core process, that is essential to using the application ‚Äď this will maximise the chances that your users do invite new users.…

  • Resources for Community Building

    Richard Millington‚ÄĒonline community builder for the UNHCR and one of Seth Godin’s 2008 interns‚ÄĒhas¬†compiled¬†over 100 of his best posts from the previous two years. There’s a wealth of valuable information at FeverBee and this list is a great introduction to the topic of community building. A few of the twelve categories Millington has used in…

  • Identification through Anonymous Social Networking Data

    Anonymity is “not sufficient for privacy when dealing with social networks” is the conclusion from a study that has successfully managed to de-anonymise large amounts of sanitised data from Twitter and Flickr. The main lesson of this paper is that anonymity is not sufficient for privacy when dealing with social networks. [‚Ķ] Our experiments underestimate…

  • Overcoming Network Effects

    A¬†network effect is “the effect that one user of a¬†good or¬†service has on the¬†value of that product to other people”. When there is a positive network effect we say that the good or service in question increases in usefulness the more users there are, like the telephone or online social networks. Of course, being in…

  • Privacy Salience and Social Networking Sites

    Privacy could become a competitive feature of social networking sites, suggests Bruce Schneier in an article that looks at the interesting topic of privacy salience: the suggestion that privacy reassurances make people more, not less, concerned. Privacy salience does a lot to explain social networking sites and their attitudes towards privacy. From a business perspective,…

  • Taming White House Trolls

    When the Obama administration embraced blogging,¬†sans commenting,¬†on the White House website there were a number of detractors saying that Obama had retreated from his campaign promise of providing a site enabling public discussions. The reasons why are fairly obvious, but Clive Thompson looks at¬†how the WhiteHouse.gov blog could enable commenting and successfully/safely control trolls (the…