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Someone in this discussion has proposed that its a matter of homonyms: the
social networks of 'gimmicks' like Myspace, and the social networks of SNA,
are otherwise unrelated beyond sharing the same name. I disagree.
I think that they are "duals" to each other. Sociological SNA -- what this
list pays attention to -- assumes connections among people, and looks to see
what features and behaviors can be related to those connections; Commercial
Social Networks assume social features and behaviors, and tries to develop
connections based on them. Sociology fixes the 'technology' by which people
connect, Commerce tries to develop new technology.
As I understand Granovetter's work (I probably don't), he looks at several
different types of connections (e.g., "weak" vs. "strong") and
relates different behavior to the different networks (networks that are
"weak" are more productive). Burt's work (same caveat about my
understanding) looks at various graph-theoretical measures of the points in
a network ( e.g., some 'hole'-spanning measure), and relates behavior to
those measures (individuals or firms which span more holes have greater
I'm not sure how far I can push this sense of 'duality,' but it sure feels
right to me. The one clear difference I can see is that the data that
sociological analyses sometimes deal with is "ego-networks," while
commercial analyses never does.
== Rick Lightburn, Chief Knowledge Officer, LHL Partners
On 10/7/06, Moses Boudourides <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
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> I'm just wondering: is this a mere naiveté or why do people around
> business tend to identify social networks with gimmicks like MySpace?
> What do they see that sociologists cannot understand? Your cues will
> be appreciated.
> Craig Cox
> This article appeared in Ode issue: 37
> Social networking sites like MySpace are reshaping cyberspace—and the
> business world
> Social networking sites like MySpace are reshaping cyberspace—and business
> Next time you're feeling a bit annoyed by your teenager's obsession
> with MySpace, consider this: She and 72 million of her close friends
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