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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
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  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
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"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.