Book Recommendations: Connected The Amazing Power of Social Networks

I highly recommend reading Connected: The amazing power of social networks and how they shape our lives by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler. The book poses the killer questions:

Is happiness catching? Is wealth contagious? Can your friends make you fat? Why do you bother to vote? Does free will exist? Your friend’s friend starts smoking, suddenly you find yourself reaching for a cigarette. But how can someone you’ll never know make you fatter and happier?

Continue reading “Book Recommendations: Connected The Amazing Power of Social Networks”

Social Search and the Integrity of the Social Graph

The “Elemental Web” was a connection of machines, then a connection of sites, now it is a complex amalgam awash with traditional links and millions of ‘inter-personal’ connections defined by the Social Graph. But what exactly is the Social Graph, is it open to manipulation and how might this affect experimentation in Social Search? How shall we seek to vanquish the Social Chimera? Continue reading “Social Search and the Integrity of the Social Graph”

The Problem with Privacy and Social Networks

Perusing articles on Facebook privacy control changes from a well-known security company, there is the revelation that “no private information should be on the Internet”. A wise statement for an information security purist, but what constitutes ‘private information’, to what degree is it fluid and are the controls within Social Networks sufficient to allow us to restrict access in the ways we demand / require? What are the ‘sociological norms’, and what of ‘super-social’ libertines who have exceeded Dunbar’s Number by a magnitude of 700%? Continue reading “The Problem with Privacy and Social Networks”