Thursday, April 12, 2012

Social Network Analysis

Social Network Analysis is one of the electives this quarter offered by Professor Suresh Bhagavatula. With the Facebook IPO coming up in May, this has to be one of the better seasons to discuss this subject after all...

Apart from coming to know about software tools like UCINET and NodeXL to analyze social networks of popular tools like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, the course so far has charted the not-so-unfamiliar territory of interesting stories.

The first interesting one has to be the Stanley Milgram's "Small World" experiment. Done way back in 1960's and 70's it provided the theoretical underpinning for the idea of a world with Six-Degrees-Of-Separation. Theories apart, what captures me, was the simplicity behind Milgram's experiment. Milgram handed out small packages to mine workers in Kansas, which they had to deliver to specific individuals in Boston. The catch however was that the packages had to be passed along through acquittances. No couriers, No mail. Interesting... huh?

The interesting case study of Heidi Roizen brings to perspective the often misunderstood subject of people with a better Social Network climbing the org-ladders faster. Roizen boasts of being the most influential networker in Silicon Valley having painstakingly built her network starting as a humble 'Creative Writer'.

But coming back to Facebook. Obnoxious valuations aside, there would not be a single marketeer out there who would not shell out money to get a list of all those who hit the 'Like' button of his product page. And just today I came across this article showcasing some truly interesting contests happening on Facebook fan pages. And how did I come across this one? Twitter of course!!

By the way, check out your InMap on LinkedIn if you haven't already - They truly look fabulous.

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