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Yes, an excellent article that raises both ethical and research issues
associated with the use of SNA in marketing.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Bruce Hoppe" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, December 06, 2004 4:23 PM
Subject: Re: BzzAgents


> *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
>
> Another comment on Rob Walker's article from Sunday's NY Times Magazine:
>
> This is a great article and raises lots of good questions. Regarding SNA,
I
> was particularly struck by the part describing how BzzAgent succeeds as a
> viral marketing agency without using any "analysis" of SNA. Anyone can
sign
> up as a BzzAgent volunteer, and many volunteers become great persuaders
for
> BzzAgent even though they are clearly not connectors, etc.
>
>
>
> Bruce Hoppe, PhD
> Community Networks
> http://connectedness.blogspot.com
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
> Behalf Of Valdis
> Sent: Monday, December 06, 2004 2:58 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: BzzAgents
>
> *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
>
> A very creepy application of weak ties, diffusion of innovation,
> Coleman, etc.
>
> > Who are they? Check out the word-of-mouth industry's favorite graph.
> > The graph is meant to show the pattern by which ideas or products or
> > behaviors are adopted, and it looks like a hill: on the left are the
> > early adopters; then the trend-spreaders; the mainstream population is
> > the big bulge in the middle; then come the laggards, represented by
> > the right-hand slope. This is not new stuff -- Knox himself cites
> > research from the 1930's, as well as the 1962 academic book
> > ''Diffusion of Innovation,'' by Everett Rogers -- but it has become
> > extremely popular over the past five years or so. Seth Godin, who
> > wrote ''Permission Marketing,'' ''Unleashing the Ideavirus'' and other
> > popular marketing books (and whose ideas partly inspired BzzAgent),
> > uses it, as do dozens of other marketing experts. Malcolm Gladwell's
> > ''Tipping Point'' made an argument about these ideas that was
> > simultaneously more textured and easier to digest than most of what
> > had come before (or since), and it became a best seller. But whatever
> > the intentions and caveats of the various approaches to the subject,
> > the most typical response to the graph is to zero in on the segment
> > that forms the bridge over which certain ideas or products travel into
> > the mainstream -- influentials, trend-translators, connectors, alphas,
> > hubs, sneezers, bees, etc. Let's just call them Magic People.
> >
> >  Knox said that Tremor's approach to finding the Magic People is
> > intensively researched. The company tries to isolate the psychological
> > characteristics of the subset of influential teenagers, and has
> > developed a screening process to identify them. The details of this
> > are a secret, but as an example, Knox noted that most teenagers have
> > 25 or 30 names on their instant-messaging ''buddy list,'' whereas a
> > Tremor member might have 150. Tremor recruits volunteers mostly
> > through online advertisements and accepts only 10 or 15 percent of
> > those who apply. The important thing, Knox said, is they are the right
> > kind of kids -- the connected, influential trend-spreading kind.
>
> What would they do if they got a hold of the *5th edition* of Rogers'
> book?
>
> Sunday NY Times Magazine...
> http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/05/magazine/05BUZZ.html
>
> Long article, but worth reading.
>
> Valdis
>
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