It is no longer about eyeballs. NOW is about how we LINK eyeballs. Mining the Link Structure of How People Connect.
What is happening now "socially" on the Internet is what Google did with web page linking for advertising. Instead of considering each page in isolation, they examined the link structure of the entire web and computed a global evaluation of that structure. In other words they began looking at the entire forest instead of just the individual trees. This short article, "The Power of Links and the Value of Global Knowledge" by Paul Buchheit explains it so well.
"...this general approach of evaluating information in a global context is fundamental to many of the algorithms. These algorithms made it easier for Google to spot which web sites were actually important, and which were just pretenders."
Today on the Internet the same applies to people. So how do we apply this to social networks to create value? We create ways to join people. The future will be measured by how we empower people to link together around "what they like" and "how they work".
Paul Buchheit says this:
Perhaps a people directory doesn't seem terribly valuable, but if you can't imagine how to make money from knowing everyone's identity and trust networks, then you aren't being very imaginative.
There is GOLD in the way we link together around "what we like" and "how we work" data. The eyeball metric to measure advertising rates and to place valuation on "networks" is old-fashioned. The future is no longer about eyeballs; it's about how we LINK eyeballs.
Here is an example. I love this graph! This social graph shows "to" and "from" email contact on a project after a missed deadline. At a glance, project managers noticed clusters around formal departments and several hubs were under-performing creating bottlenecks. Managers intervened and created co-location of more project team members, reduced the communication load on the hubs, and improved performance later in the project. This is the future. And this is what we can do just with email!
Now imagine what we can do when we link what we are watching with what we buy simultaneously, in one click? Check out the LOVE iTT ticker.!