***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** "A tie is anything about which you can tell a story." - Harrison White -Don > ***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** > >> -----Original Message----- >> From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] > On >> Behalf Of Cora Schaefer >> Sent: Saturday, September 30, 2006 4:25 AM >> To: [log in to unmask] >> Subject: AW: Validity of network ties >> >> ***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** >> >> Dear all, >> >> thanks for the quick replies! I realize I should have been more > specific. >> Without having read the suggested literature yet (so please forgive me > if >> the issues raised are answered in there), I try to explain more > precisely >> what I meant. >> >> There's a lot of literature about the outcomes of networks, e.g. the >> classic >> example of finding a new job. So, by "real networks" I meant to pose > the >> questions if these conclusions could be assumed as well for networks >> constructed from online data. >> >> There two concerns with network data gathered from social network > sites >> such >> as LinkedIn that occurred to me so far: first, I expect there to be > more >> network ties in this kind of online data than in questionnaire studies > as >> ties accumulate in social network sites. Probably very few people > "clear >> out" their ties in their profile. Yet, when asked I don't expect these >> very >> weak or maybe "old" ties to be mentioned. >> >> Second and this is mentioned by danah boyd, there are some people who >> collect ties as an end in itself. Besides the point of asking about > their >> motivation to do so, I wonder whether these persons can be compared to >> hubs >> who know (as in face-to-face knowing or through more extensive >> communication >> than the message asking for the tie to be confirmed) their alters. >> >> Regards, >> Cora Schaefer > > I think that a lot of this LinkedIn phenomenon you are seeing can be > cast mainly as a flaw in the model that LinkedIn has adopted: the notion > that a tie is "binary", that is, it either exists or it does not, and > that the only thing that one needs to do is point and click an > invitation at someone easily found in the system to go from "we have > absolutely no tie" to "we have the same kind of tie as people I've known > all my life." There is no notion of a "cost" per tie, for instance, nor > the notion that one needs to have laid down *some* sort of groundwork > before a tie can become "operationalized" (that is, sufficiently > "strong" for it to be a source of traditional "networking"). The lack of > a feel of "fidelity" when you use their product (at least, this happens > to me) is, I think, a very good practical example of what happens when a > model is not a very good match to the reality that it is attempting to > simulate. > > I think there are better models for a LinkedIn company to adopt, models > that better match reality; of course I do, since my full disclosure is > that I work for a company that is attempting to do that very thing. But > even outside my employment-inspired interest, I think it is going to be > interesting to see how an attempt to more accurately model the > real-world social network within social networking software will impact > the user experience. Maybe it just doesn't matter: maybe social > networking software is just a tool that provides some services and > doesn't depend on really being a "model" of the real world at all. *I* > don't think so, but I want to see this all in side-by-side action just > for curiosity's sake. It's also going to be a neat testbed for SNA > concepts. > > Regards, > Andy > > Dr Andrew J. Cleary > Director of Algorithms R&D > Visible Path Corp. > > _____________________________________________________________________ > SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social > network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send > an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line > UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message. > _____________________________________________________________________ SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.