Friday, May 20, 2011

contra SN 2025

Improvements in computer and technology will allow syntetic intelligence like HAL which is able to communicate with a human. As instrument for problem solving social networking will be a appropriate tool in the toolbox. The user can't distiguish is there HAL or a real person on the other end of the connection. Why then social networking, if BlueGene can communicate with me? One question will be, is HAL creative enough to find a non common solution for problem he never faced before? Or what about a person feels responsible for answering a question. HAL will not feel shame if he decide not answering. What is a friend in a social network? not more than a link on the desktop fo the pc. It can be easily be deleted. You don't have to explain your decision or the deleted contact can't argue for don't deleting.

pro SN 2025

it becomes more and more important to share knowledge. Knowledge and the data in the web or cloud double in less than 3 years, aggreagtion of solution will be a new task for scientists, engineers and users. This includes not only delivering knowledge, but also finding the right source for a solving specific problem. Therefore social networking will be the gate to such solution providers. The pure amount of data focuses the view on the topic peopöe working on, the wider view to the side and collection of side information are much easier using your network. Not only gathering information but also delivering. Not all sources of new developments can be reviewed, every node in the network can act as input filter and trigger others in his network. Finally, to stay in contact with former collegues, alumni and so on is simple if social network is the memory for interconnections.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Great course - great time! Thanks to Rusty and also the whole class for this great days!!

See you all soon!

And favourite quote from my side:

Let´s learn enough to be dangerous!!!


Many friends - much influence ?

Good afternoon P6 ! After an inspiring discussion about social networks, I found an interesting article (unfortunately in german). Its about the influencers in the network. How can a network be taken over. I'm very interested in your comments. Please share your comments !

Saturday, May 14, 2011

sum up of social media

Hi P6,
I got confused with the whole social media options and just summed them up (the bigger the notes the more media friends in summary). Quite nice option I think. See you tomorrow morning. Gunnar

Analysis M11

Hi guys,

I´m just starting with the M11 analysis. So far it seems that M11´s networking pathways are more homogenous, but the network density between females is significantly smaller than the one between males and even between males and females. Furthermore I found out that the older students are less well connected with each other while the younger students having more connections in the class.

We can use this post to collect data for the analysis.

Wishing you all a great evening.

The Digital World in 2025

Hello P6,

we were just looking for the article Rusty recommended today. As it took us some time to find it we thought it might be good to share it with you. You can find the article behind the link above.

CU tomorrow :-)

Collect Twitter Data for UCI/Netdraw

To collect data from Twitter for pictures like the one from the demission of mubarak (see the video @ ) you can start here, but it does not look like something very handy, its a developer thing, or does someone now the easy way?

A short abstract:Start here to go further, API means "Aplication Programmer's Interface"
"The Twitter API consists of three parts: two REST APIs and a Streaming API. The two distinct REST APIs are entirely due to history. Summize, Inc. was originally an independent company that provided search capability for Twitter data. Summize was later acquired and rebranded as Twitter Search. Rebranding the site was easy, fully integrating Twitter Search and its API into the Twitter codebase is more difficult. It is in our pipeline to unify the APIs, but until resources allow the REST API and Search API will remain as separate entities. The Streaming API is distinct from the two REST APIs as Streaming supports long-lived connections on a different architecture."


There are more connections within the same location than between locations. This seems logical, even though I don't fully understand why.

Friday, May 13, 2011

By location analysis

According to my calculations:
Density = 0.78
Links per node = 16

Boston seems pretty well developed and connected, except 2 Research assistants totally out of the network.

In Europe most advanced looks Paris.


The author looked at the correlation between network and performance of the team.
Measuring the performance by network looks good.
However there seems to be some risk...

Connectors between regions is weak

Regions are only sparsely connected (filtered by strength 4 or 5; regions in blue)

not on Partner level (size of the squares only on SC and MC level)

bridge identified

Leading through networks

Hey everybody,

I posted this article via E-Mail already as the blogspot server was down. Here is the same posting again.
I found this article "Leading through networks" at the homepage of IMD:,dwp_uuid=5bd47902-91db-11db-a945-0000779e2340.html#axzz1ME87Zti0 and there is also a video to it:
The three main points of the articles are:
1.Simple hierarchies and complex networks.
2. The two basic kinds of networks that every leader needs: fishing nets for collecting the right kind of resources and safety nets for risk taking.
3. Closing thought: Do you have the right nets and are you using them correctly?
The article is covering many points that the "Hoppe-Reinelt" article did and additionally explains the need for networks for leaders in general. I found it very interesting! (I attached the article below)
See you in class,
Wolfram (P6)

Part 2: Transcript

Published: March 27 200709:49| Last updated: March 27 200709:49
Professor Martha Maznevski: We’re here at IMD’s restaurant, called The Meeting Place, to emphasise networking. Leading through networks is critically important in global firms. Hierarchies are, of course, important. Hierarchies help us to understand where the lines of decision making and authority are. It’s important in global firms that the hierarchies are clear, but relatively simple. As we talked about yesterday, if they’re too complicated then nobody knows where to go to for advice or for decision making. But to complement those clear, simple hierarchies, it’s important to have networks. Networks are systems of relationships that cross boundaries across the network, outside the organisation, in order to pass on information and influence to get things done.
Okay, you know what organisational charts look like in the picture of the hierarchy. Let’s take a quick look at what a picture of a network looks like. Here’s an example of a network. This is the flow of information and communications in a key account team of a global financial services organisation. You can see in this team which is actually the flow of the communications, how they talk to each other, who talks to whom about the account. This looks quite different from an organisation chart. In fact it’s difficult to tell in this picture who is the boss or the managing director of this team. In fact it’s number one, it’s this person here, but this is not the same person who receives most of the communication. So, the hierarchy helps understand where the decision making, accountability and authority are. But looking at this helps us to understand where the communication flows are, and it helps this team to assess whether or not the right people are talking to the right people.
Now, every global leader needs two basic kinds of networks, and it’s best to think of these as fishing nets and safety nets. We use fishing networks, so networks of humans, to catch all kinds of resources. Obviously to catch ideas, to catch innovations, but also to catch people, for example new recruits, new candidates for your organisation. Also to catch customers; we can use fishing nets to catch customers, to catch suppliers, alliance partners, financing partners. Any kind of resource that your company needs can be fished through a human fishing net. The characteristics of a good human fishing net are similar to those of a good real fishing net; for example, you want the connections to be as far apart as possible. In other words, if everybody in your fishing net knows everybody else in your fishing net, then you’re just catching the same information or the same resources over and over again. It’s much more efficient to have connections that do not know each other, and then the connections should be spread over as large an area as possible, and the net should be cast in the right place. So, for example, if you’re looking for financial resources, and your fishing net is cast over university researchers, you’re probably not going to catch the right resources.
Let’s take a look at one company’s fishing net. This is the fishing net of a global engineering firm, and the different colours represent people who are in different countries spread across the world. The lines represent knowledge paths, so these are people who know about each other’s work, and therefore tend to share knowledge along these paths. We see that, in general, this is a pretty efficient fishing net, that knowledge about engineering applications in different parts of the world can pass around the world through some of these key connections. On the other hand, there are a couple of people down here who happen to specialise in pharmaceutical plant applications in Latin Americathat are not connected to the rest of the net. And if somebody over here needs to know about pharmaceutical applications they’re not going to be able to get the knowledge. So, when the company saw a picture of this fishing net, they knew that it was important to create some ties between these people and the rest of the net in order to fish better for their ideas.
So, the fishing net is the first kind of net that all global managers need to catch resources. The other kind of net that is important is a safety net. A safety net, for example the ones used by trapeze artists or tightrope artists in circuses, catches you when you fall. The characteristics of a good safety net are that the holes are smaller, so that nothing falls through, the ties are very, very strong, and they’re also very flexible. Other things being equal, safety nets can be smaller than fishing nets because they have to catch something in a very specific area. Human safety nets do the same thing. These are our networks of very strong, close, trusting relationships. These are the people that we can discuss things with and try out new ideas with. For example, I’m thinking of launching this new service idea next week, but I’m really worried about how some of the employees might take it because it’s going to change how they work together; what do you think, how should I do that? That’s the kind of question you can ask your safety net. Also, if something fails, your safety net is the group of people that catch you and bounce you back up again. Because global management is so full of complexities and risks it’s important to have a strong safety net.
Let’s take a look at one person’s safety net. In this case this is a private banker in Moscow. And, for his business in private banking he really needs to have everybody in his network knowing each other very, very well, so that he has a safety net through which he can do business, to catch him in the uncertainties and the unpredictabilities of the market that he’s in. When he saw this network he was quite excited, because this is exactly the kind of business that he feels he needs in order to be effective. His safety net is for doing business; his fishing net is a different network.
So, all global managers need both fishing nets and safety nets. And I would ask you think about two questions. The first one is: do you have the right fishing nets and safety nets? In other words, are you set up to catch the right resources, and also to take risks and use your safety net? The second question is: are you using them?
CopyrightThe Financial Times Limited 2011. You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from and redistribute by email or post to the web.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Social Networking Myths and Risks

You know that connecting to colleagues online has real benefits, but there are some things holding you back. If you’re worried about wasting time, losing your privacy, or struggling with your technical skills, don’t be — most social networks are safe and easy to use. That said, there are a few genuine concerns to be on alert for. Here’s a rundown of what you do — and don’t — need to worry about when networking online.

The Myths

It will become a time suck.
This will only come true if you let it. While the initial setup process may take part of an afternoon, once you’re up and connected to colleagues, a social network won’t require much time to maintain. In fact, your network can save you time by helping you find who you need quickly. Of course, any social network will require a modicum of attention and time in order for you to get the most of it. But then again, so does e-mail, and you’d hardly want to give that up.
I’ll lose my privacy.
Nearly every social network has ways of ensuring that your profile data is only viewable to those you have invited to see it. A stranger browsing Google won’t be able to trawl for your email or contact info — unless you’ve put it in your public profile. And remember: You don’t have to list any contact info you’re not comfortable disclosing. Worries of identity theft are ill-founded as well, as even those within your network would never see information like your Social Security number, date of birth, or home address. Think of it this way: There’s already bountiful information about nearly everyone on the Internet these days. At least with a social network profile (which tends to rank highly on Google), you control some of it.
I’m not tech savvy enough.
If you’ve managed to click on and read this story, you’re more than savvy enough to use any social network. It’s true that some sites, such as MySpace, can expect users to know basic HTML, but both Facebook and LinkedIn do all the heavy lifting for you. LinkedIn, in particular, uses a clear, simple interface designed with the site’s average user — aged 41— in mind. Filling out an online profile is just like typing a resume or filling out a form, one that’s decidedly simpler than, say, a 1040A.

The Risks

I’ll be deluged with spam.
Nearly every social network implements safeguards to keep spam at a minimum. And nearly every social network fails to some degree. MySpace saw users abandoning the site in droves after spam artists started using profiles as bait for illicit websites. Facebook users are sometimes deluged when friends inadvertently send out requests to install applications. And users on LinkedIn have been barraged with promotional emails or requests for introductions from overzealous contacts. MySpace and Facebook are still struggling with the issue, but there's a quick fix for LinkedIn. If someone’s outreach gets a little heavy handed, you can easily remove the pest from your contacts without them even knowing. (None of the major social networking sites inform contacts when you remove them from your network.)
My personal and professional lives will collide.
Who you are in the office can be very different from who you are outside of it, and online social networking can focus unwanted attention on that distinction. To avoid uncomfortable overlaps, make sure your contacts on LinkedIn are only those you know professionally. (Unless you’re both in the same field, it’s probably best to ignore your brother-in-law’s requests to link to you.) If you use sites like Facebook for professional networking, set up two separate accounts — one to meet with others in your industry, and another to keep up with friends from college.
My mistakes will come back to haunt me.
A stain on your virtual record can be difficult to get rid of. Specious advice, passive-aggressive recommendations, a white lie about your job history — these things can stick around for years after the fact. And don’t assume that simply deleting your profile will fix the problem. Facebook faced a wave of anger from users this February after it was discovered that bits of old profiles remained even after users deleted them. (Facebook now says the problem is fixed). Just as with e-mail, think twice before you type.

Social networking behind the corporate firewall increases 500%, creates big vulnerabilities

The article is quite interesting, as it is about the danger that corporations are confronted with by the usage of social media by the employees.
Social media are increasingly used by not only private content but also business relevant content. Corporations are often not able to control the transmitted data, i.e. encyption is used by the social networks. This may be dangerous and expensive for the corporations in the case of espionage.

We have met our enemy and he is ...

Although Arab Revolution is a great story, in a sense I would like to invite you to change sides. Due to the so called asymmetric warfare finding the enemy has become a more complex task than in former conventional wars. Clear and reliable targeting requires quite difficult operation procedures, particularly extensive use of intelligence analysis, while insurgents are aware of the aphorism of Mao Zedong: "The guerilla must swim in the people like the fish swims in the see." Not only using "hit and run" tactics and operating from safe houses and hiding places, the general and vital precondition for sustainable success of terroristic groups and insurgents is collective action and therefore the communication and coordination via clandestine networks.
Therefore you can find a certain relation between intelligence analysis in the military and SNA in the business world. Also in the business world recognizing personal relationships and their impact on the community of all stakeholders has become a more complex task due to the digital revolution and its social media. As the military has to understand enemies' SOP, business leaders have to disclose unwritten rules and hidden social networks, that have an impact on employees behavior, not to beat the enemy, but to improve communication, the capability to be innovative, and the willingness to change.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Social network, social trust and shared goals in organizational knowledge sharing

Many aspects of social networks consider the benefits for the individual joining these networks. So I think this article might be interesting, as it describes how the organization itself may profit from social networks (which are described as one part of social capital):

Colleagues, who form social networks, are more effective in knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer, as
a) social networks generally provide better opportunities for interpersonal contact and people have more positive feelings about sharing ideas and resources with closely related people
b) with an extensice network, each employee perceives greater social
pressure for sharing their knowledge (because of the high expectations of colleagues, including favorable actions). --> People who build a social network may be expected to share their knowledge

That means, for this issues of knwoledge management, organizational success can be directly related to social networks within the organiaztion. Moreover, in times of fluctuating workforces and retirements of large parts of the workforces, knowledge sharing and -transfer are highly relevant for the overall and sustainable success of an organization. So, it is a critical task for HR departments to recruite people who share common interests (and goals) and therefore to support the formation of social networks in order to stabilize and develop the whole organization.

Social Network Basics From Wikipedia

As usual Wikipedia provides a nice and easy to understand introduction into the topic. What is more, the article itself is a product of a social network in a certain way. Apart from the general introductory article have also a look on the topic of social network potential (SNP), whith its application example for viral marketing campaigns.

Key points of the social networking article I have found interesting:
- Has been a topic in science since 1954
- Weak ties can be important
- Small world phenomenon: Following a short chain "contacts of contacts", everyone in the world is connected with one another

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

the second side

Beside all interesting things, for instance revolution in arabian countries. Have in mind the second side of the medal. Yes, young people use facebook, twitter and so one. The process in egypt moved forward after cutting the wires to the net! Communication is important, but prices of food were the triggering events, not the availability of social networking tools named above. Intelligence agencies are also able to analyze the networks. So they can find the heads of an movement faster...

Beziehungen für Erwachsene

Networking is hard work on the relationship - people have to be sociable and reliable. Good networkers cannot only make loose "friends", but also establish cooperations.

Real Estate Social Network

I think thats a nice example of how social networks can create benefits and win-win situations, not only within a company, but between companies.

By the way, some time ago, we have also thought about such a tool for real estate developers... we should have found the start-up...

For everybody how don´t want to read the article there is a nice video as well on

Why the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Mathematicians and information scientists from Cornell University developed a dynamic mathematical model, that can predict the development of social relationships within a network. The paradigm behind is, that relationships drive toward stability or balance. And as long as conflicting relationships within a network exist, the system is in-stabile and thus: in development. Testing the model for several initial situations, the outcome was always the same: either all parties within a network became friends or two opposing blocks with strong internal relationships emerged. Both states are stable in a mathematical sense. The model was tested on historic data and showed a surprising accuracy in the predicted final state. Not surprising is, that companies like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft co-financed the study.
The article is in German, and was published on Spiegel Online in January 2011. Though, nice top-level and easy to grasp introduction into the topic, and the links to the original study are provided.

Crisis Management and Vitamin B

In a dismissive way, one can call it vitamin B, old-boy network as well as "seatbelt based system": Today, networking is no longer an infamous behavior. Furthermore, it is a necessary and essential (soft) skill to handle job markets successfully.

But: Intensifying contacts is a long-term strategy.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Back to the theme

“By 2025, social networks will be recognized as the main drivers of organizational success”   

 Most of the previous posts are about social media (Facebook et al.)  Our theme is much broader than that.  Think about social networks in your business, your family, your friends. What do they enable?  One of the more famous observations on social networks was from  a sociologist named Mark Granovetter, who wrote about how the best source of finding a job is not from your immediate network, but from friends-of-friends.  It's called The Strength of Weak Ties and has been widely quoted and circulated.

Are you for real or virtual, my friend?

In his article, Ben Quinn of The Guardian refers to a study claiming that “most users of social networking sites have more friends in cyberspace than reality”. It even says that the average person has double the amount of online friends than physical ones and that people tend to be more open and honest with their friends in cyberspace than their real-life friends.

Does this mean social networks provide for a new quality of friends? Does this mean we need to redefine our personal notion of what a real friend is to us? Will one day the sheer number of online friends one has been able to gather count more than less than a handful of real good friends that are ready to be physically there when you really need them?

Yes, I agree that the world wide web may help facilitate “friendships” for those amongst us who are isolated due to illness or other reasons and that it may foster a sense of social connection. But will the internet be able to replace a real friend who is there for us in dire times of need? Will it replace a friend who stands by us with his deeds rather than words of wisdom or “like it” comments?

Even though it may be possible to develop deep and meaningful connections with people that I have never met, I will continue to nurture my real-life friends and be physically there for them when they need me and I can only hope that they will do the same.

The article may be found at:

Five Tips for Smarter Social Networking

John Hagel III and John Seely Brown started on HBR a discussion on their five tips for Smarter Social Networking.

1. Express more vulnerability
2. Mix professional and personal lives
3. Provoke
4. Promote others
5. Actively seed, feed and weed

The artical has been discussed by many blockers in a very controverse way. The people are diverse and acting different in their networking behaviour.

A Practical Guide to Social Networks

Scanning the prior posts, it is evident that the majority predominantly associates social networks with social media and in particular with the internet. Needless to say that the several platforms such as “facebook” or “linkedin” provide tremendous information, although I do believe that they should not be overemphasized. However, for organizational success other issues are more significant. A good introduction into different kinds of social networks is given in the HBR paper “A Practical Guide to Social Networks”. In this paper one can find both theory and application in some case studies so that I find it quite informative.


The whole world has one opinion

This article discusses the problem of the perception of the reality that is displayed within the World Wide Web focusing mainly on facebook, twitter and google. It outlines the fact that filters are used in order to display the information to users. Facebook, for example, uses an algorithm to collect the content the user is able to see. As a result a user sees mainly the information of people or sources he has often contacted in the past and the probability that he sees other information of people he hasn’t contacted within a long time is comparably low. Facebook doesn’t publish the complex algorithm but confirmed the vague explanation mentioned before.

But more interesting is the discussion about the filters that are used whether they are necessary and what are the implications of filters?

According to Zuckberg filter are necessary (“the facebook effect“) and yes, there are some advantages of filters, they try to give the user orientation within the information flood of the World Wide Web. But it also has a dangerous side, when users don’t know about the functions of filters and stop to questioning the information they get displayed, for the reason that with this function the worldview of the user is intensified. Therefore not knowing of the impact of filters could give user the impression that the whole world has the same believes even though it just a result out of the user defined part of the World Wide Web that is displayed. Contrary discussions, which are fundamental for further development, are not possible within an environment that uses filters, which leads to questions and concerns when observing the fast increasing usage of the Internet as well as social networks for an increasing amount of actives.


Die ganze Welt ist einer Meinung - Konrad Lischka writes about the pre-filtered web,1518,750111,00.html

(This article is unfortunately in German. I could not find a similar article in English. Nevertheless I think the problem that is discussed is highly interesting and relevant and therefore I like to share my thoughts concerning this article with you.)

Megasuccessful - Paul Boutin writes about the Book “the facebook EFFECT“

A new kind of resistance movement?

I was going to wait until the weekend to talk about this, but the previous posts have provoked me to say something sooner. As you can imagine, I'm very interested in the events in Egypt, Tunisia, and other resistance movements in what you might call the "democratic dictatorships" of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA.) Although I wrote my doctoral dissertation on the role of new technologies in creating the resistance networks that brought down Milosevic in Serbia in the 1990s, my current focus is not on bringing down governments, but in the role of social media and new technologies in building up civil society, political parties, and government institutions. Click on the title of this post to get to the Facebook page my students at Fletcher and I are maintaining on what we call 21st Century Resistance Movements.

The great thing about this emerging field called social network analysis is that what we discover in one domain, e.g. political organizations, is almost-always useful in others, e.g. businesses.  So it's not just OK, it's very useful to use examples from one field to help understand or explain things in another.

OK, now let's get back to business and the the theme for our weekend--thoughts about where this is all leading us.

Maybe it is not Twitter but Facebook facilitating revolutions

Even though not being Twitter Alex Madrigal shows in his article how Facebook was used in the Tunisian dissent and uproar End of 2010/ Beginning of 2011 and how Facebook even facilitated the dissent movement.

Facebook at that time served as one of the most important communication medium for the Tunisian people as well as for the Tunisian activists. As the regime tried to undermine this medium (by actually hacking the Facebook accounts by stealing the passwords of the Tunisian people with a man-in-the-middle attach) Facebook responded with a clever and real social approach to this key logger.

I like this story for four reasons:
1.) It shows in a very well written manner the use of social media in a recent conflict
2.) It illustrates the vulnerability of this media to censorship (other examples include China, North Korea etc.)
3.) It outlines why social media is social and that sometimes seemingly easy solution to a problem (how to prevent the hacking of the Tunisian regime by means of a "mother's maiden name" question)
4.) The German article is written by one of my favorite bloggers Sascha Lobo (can recommend his blog on Spiegel online as well as the blogs on: and

This story is a good example how Social Networks can become a real tool for democratic movements instead of a simple time waster (as it is most of the time in my case).

Original story in English:

Story adapted by German blogger Sascha Lobo:,1518,742961,00.html

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Why The Revolution Won’t be Tweeted

This is an article from the press, The New Yorker, written by Malcolm Gladwell in October 2010. I find it an excellent read and very interesting because it actually challenges the idea of true effectiveness of the digital instruments of social media/social networking that in general, are probably more thought of forming the future success for organizations, movements, actions and alike. It gives plenty of interesting examples, also from Germany. There are so many articles that support the theme we have been given for next weekend, so I found this article quite refreshing and standing out from the masses as opposing/refuting it.

Although this article has received some critics (as all thought provoking ones do) claiming that the writer gets social networks wrong, and even if the readers do not have to agree with everything that the writer says, and personally I am not sure if I agree with all his arguments either, it does inspire thoughts and gives also some other aspects to consider related to our theme.

So, hope this can offer you some new ideas and point of views, and assist in your process of coming to your own conclusion concerning our theme.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Welcome P6

You're in the right place.  Enjoy the work from previous HHL MBA students, and I look forward to seeing what you will add to our knowledge base.