The item below just came over the Technews e-wire from the Association for Computing Machinery, a huge and powerful scholarly/practitioner org. (BTW, look for my article about the internet as a social network in Communications of ACM this April.) Barry ___________________________________________________________________ Barry Wellman Professor of Sociology NetLab Director [log in to unmask] http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman Centre for Urban & Community Studies University of Toronto 455 Spadina Avenue Toronto Canada M5S 2G8 fax:+1-416-978-7162 ___________________________________________________________________ "Social Networks" Internet Computing (02/02) Vol. 6, No. 1, P. 91; Raghavan, Prabhakar Social network theory can be applied to the Internet, and has become so significant that developers are incorporating it into the design of search engines and enterprise portals. Web portals can be used to model relationships between people, the Web pages they build and access, and the interactions between them. In an adaptive ranking model, the value of a document is raised by the frequency with which it is accessed in previous searches. Role-based recommendation engines incorporate the user's place and context in the company to make more detailed and precise document suggestions. Meanwhile, the tendency of users to converge into overlapping communities could be exploited by portals, if they can outline groups that relate to the user's context. The resulting system would then be able to locate the documents or experts that have the closest contextual match. Overall, the Web will continue to serve as a testing ground for social theory that can be translated to enterprise information management, although the translation is not seamless.