Mar 23 - Your Social Graph

Social networks have been the focus of much recent research and entrepreneurship. This discourse views social relationships as nodes and links (or ties). Nodes are individual entities (often people) and the links are the relationships between them (parent-child, student-teacher, friend-friend). The people you know are your social network. Social relationships can be characterized on a spectrum from shallow to deep. Some theorists claim that social networks with many weak ties are more valuable than ones with fewer and deeper ties. The premise is that the more connections you have, the more likely that new ideas and opportunities will be introduced to you. This seems to be the guiding principle of many of these new social networking websites. Deeper connections have greater costs in terms of time commitments, etc and tend to have redundant ties. Of particular value in these systems are nodes (people, entities) that can bridge two networks thereby brokering relationships between networks that otherwise are not directly linked.

In 1967, Stanley Milgram made the famous "small world experiment" which claimed to prove that people in the world are separated by at most 6 links. While the experiment is considered to have many flaws, the notion of six degrees of separation has persisted in popular culture.

Social network class notes


Privately Public Self Essay


Friends, Friendsters, and MySpace Top 8: Writing Community Into Being on Social Network Sites. by danah boyd

The Rhythms of Salience: A Conversation Map by Judith Donath