Thursday, October 22, 2009

SOCIAL NETWORKS: The Global Linked Forest

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:

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.!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Is Being Bad Beyond Our Control?

Here is a story I wrote in the 6th grade; age 11. My class got in trouble for talking. Miss Conti asked us to write an essay about why we were so bad. I still use this excuse! When I found this today in an old file I save in a drawer full of papers, I laughed out loud, because I must be "Mrs. Robinson" in the story. A foreshadowing written by an 11 year old version of myself!


On November 29, 1978 in room 413 at P.S. 102 the students in class 6-1 were very noisy and misbehaved. This occurred at 1:20pm. This class was normally well behaved, so this was an unusual happening. Miss Conti, the teacher of the class, was astounded by this odd behavior. To see that it would not occur again, Miss Conti assigned the students a 500 word composition on The Spirit of Noise.

Unfortunately, I had the misfortune of being a student in this particular class at that time and place. I had to do the assignment. To do this properly I did some research on noise. I went to the library to obtain books on noise. There I met an old woman who helped me use the reference catalogs. I told her of my assignment and the reason for it. After listening to me she told me that she worked at the Hayden Planetarium. She worked as an astronomer. Her name was Mrs. Robinson. What she then said really opened my eyes.

Mrs. Robinson told me that certain stars in a remote galaxy were finally in unison with the Earth after 2,500 years. The last time that this phenomenon occurred the Earth exhibited strange reactions in the field of noise. She told me that the higher up you are from street level the more you would be affected. When I told Mrs. Robinson my class was on the 4th floor, she nodded knowingly.

It seems that this galaxy affected the people on Earth in a strange manner. Similar to the pull of gravity only this force seems to affect behavior. Students who are normally well behaved start to talk and make loud noise. Another interesting thing that Mrs. Robinson told me concerned location. It seems that Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, specifically was a focal point for this force. People in other boroughs and other locations were not affected.

In view of this scientific data it seems that even though the class made noise their actions were beyond their control. Anyway it should not occur again for 2,500 years. But Mrs. Robinson said anther galaxy was going to be in a similar location in two months. She said that the stars in that particular galaxy when in unison, make 6th grade children mute for one day. They can't give a correct answer even when they know it! The class should not be held accountable for classwork on that day.