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I don't have any data on popularity, but two tilts at the windmill here:

1. Watts book six degrees was part of this popularity and it is half about
human behavior.
2 the title six degrees resonated as it was embedded in the vulture ever
since Milgram in the 1950s, boosted by the the John Guare play from the
1980s...turned into a film with Will smith.

So, as to the wider public, it is possible the interest in SNA was stoked
by many non physicist influences.

Jordi

On Saturday, June 15, 2013, "Gulyás, László" wrote:

> *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
>
> Dear Barry and All,
>
> I think no one really questions that SNA existed before the arrival of the
> statistical physics approach to the field. Yet, it would be futile to
> question that it was the physicists' arrival that made it famous and known
> to the wider public (for better or worse).
>
> Best regards,
>
> -- Laszlo
> --.--
> GULYÁS, László Ph.D.
> Head of Division
> Intelligent Applications and Web Services
> AITIA International, Inc.
>
> 2013.06.14. 21:53 keltezéssel, Barry Wellman írta:
>
>> *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
>>
>> I just sent this comment to Science
>>
>> Science 14 June 2013:
>> Vol. 340 no. 6138 pp. 1272-1272
>> DOI:10.1126/science.340.6138.**1272
>>
>> Network analysis blossomed well before the physicists came lately to the
>> field in the 1990s.  By the 1970s, social network analysis had a
>> professional society with 700 members and a lively annual conference in
>> the U.S. or Europe. Much good research, theorizing and methods were
>> done, resulting in the current NSA activity, for better or worse. The
>> key as you note, was the recent development of big data sets and
>> computational ability to analyze them.
>>
>>
>>    Barry Wellman
>>   ______________________________**______________________________**
>> ___________
>>
>>    S.D. Clark Professor               FRSC               NetLab Director
>>    Faculty of Information (iSchool)                 611 Bissell Building
>>    140 St. George St.    University of Toronto    Toronto Canada M5S 3G6
>>    http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~**wellman<http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman>         twitter: @barrywellman
>>
>>    NETWORKED:The New Social Operating System. Lee Rainie & Barry Wellman
>>    MIT Press            http://amzn.to/zXZg39      Print $22  Kindle $16
>>                   Old/NewCyberTimes http://bit.ly/c8N9V8
>>    ______________________________**______________________________**
>> ____________
>>
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-- 
excuse brevity and typing errors...the screen is very very small

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