Shifting Social SuperNodes

In line with my earlier posts highlighting the distinction between contacts and relationships within social networks, UMass and the New England Complex Systems Institute have released some interesting research. 

"Scientists at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and the New England Complex Systems Institute have discovered that social networks and the roles of the individuals that make them up vary drastically from day to day. Until now, scientists have largely thought of networks as fairly stable, changing only slightly over time–say, when someone makes a new contact.

“The results were astounding,” Braha says. “How important someone is changes so fast we might be better off saying it is like ’15 minutes of fame’.”

“The most influential people are not the ones with the biggest address books,” says Bar-Yam. “What really matters is who is talking to whom."

As a user of social software, I want to understand the shape of my social network based on how often I interact across my different personal and professional relationships… not how fast I add contacts.   Reed’s Law helps define the overall value of my social network… but according to this research… the supernodes in my social network shift based on number and quality of my conversations.   

More here

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