Social Networks

There's a growing number of Web sites which try to utilize Stanley Milgram's SmallWorld hypothesis for such sundry purposes as making friends, making business contacts, or dating.

Some of these sites may be following the Six Degrees method of selling addresses to spammers. If you still want to have a go at them, SpamMotel and other SpamSolutions might be of interest.

Contributors: BrianRobinson, MichaelIvey

See SixDegreesOfWikiWiki


I would add in a link to: Why Some Social Network Services Work and Others Don't. (

It says that modeling social services as all about people fails. The image is: Each person is a dot, and you draw the lines between them. This is: "A social network is a group of people connected by relationships."

That doesn't work, because we do not form a relationship with a person in the abstract, in most cases. Rather, we form a relationship with a person with some role or scenario or situation in mind: what the author calls an object.

If we take a lump of 1,000 people, and say: "Who is interested in talking about Design Patterns today?..." ...lumping people with that interest together- it's probably going to be more interesting than asking: "Who are your friends' friends?" It may be casually interesting, but nothing is really going to come of it.

Relationships seem to follow from various things, including shared object. But relationships do not seem to flow along lines of relationships. If A knows B knows C, it doesn't really imply that A will want to know C. A knows B because they're both into Design Patterns. B knows C because they're both into motorcycles. But A probably wants to talk Anime with D, rather than motorcycles with C. Knowing the map of lines doesn't help much. Knowing the object that the relationship works around can help a lot though. Even perfect strangers with no friends between will meet around a shared object.

You could work at the same place. You could take the same bus as the other person. You could both share a love of Iguanas, or the Grateful Dead.

Once you have a bunch of people all grouped around the same object, then you can say: "This is the leader. This is the techie. These two are close friends. This is the silent one. But they all interact together in this situation, this object between them all."

Note: This is just my understanding of what Jyri Engestr�m wrote. (1) I may have mis-interpreted.


-- LionKimbro

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