Monday, September 30, 2013

Tapping the power of social networks-A case of pharmaceutical industry

An article published in the Harvard Business Review in September 2011 briefly analyzes the case of pharmaceutical industry where social network analysis can have significant impact on how business is done. 'Studies have shown that physicians were much more likely to prescribe the diabetes medication Januvia if they had Januvia adopters in their networks—an effect that extended to three degrees of separation (a colleagues’ colleagues’ colleagues)'. For more details, follow the link below.

Spoofing Social Media - Israel's fake LinkedIn page for Rouhani

This is a page put up by the Israeli Embassy in Washington to mock President Rouhani of Iran's charm offensive on social media.

How Amoebas Form Social Networks

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Another SNA blog

For everyone, who is still a little bit confused about 2-mode-networks and what we can do with them, I found this blog with short descriptions of the concepts and more.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

In the New York Times today: "NSA Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizens"

SNA at at the NSA

"Since 2010, the National Security Agency has been exploiting its huge collections of data to create sophisticated graphs of some Americans’ social connections that can identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions and other personal information, according to newly disclosed documents and interviews with officials."

I don't find this revelation particularly surprising, but the details are interesting.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

An Information Bottleneck that Saved the World?

The world could've ended in 1983 had it not been for one man and one major bottleneck?

"I had all the data [to suggest there was an ongoing missile attack]. If I had sent my report up the chain of command, nobody would have said a word against it"

The Perils of Proximity Tweeting

I'm sure there are quite a number of people who have been tempted to physically harm an annoying journalist. This comedian apparently doesn't take twitter criticism well. I sincerely doubt that these two were following each other on twitter and I can only assume that the comedian was looking for posts about himself, and then somehow found out who was responsible for the offending tweets (does this say anything about closeness? betweenness?) *Disclaimer: Josh Rogin is a friend of a friend whom I have socialized with. I withhold comment on whether or not he had it coming. 

Hello All! I went to TEDx Cambridge a couple of weeks ago and there was a great presentation on what the meta data from your emails, through a range of time, says about you. If you're curious, you can download the app (called Immersion) Deepak and Daniel created for free. It accesses only the TO, FROM, BCC/CC, and DATE fields and generates a network map of who you've been talking to, how your email usage has fluctuated, etc. It's amazing how many inferences can be generated from just these few email metadata fields.

You can check out the video of their TEDx talk here:

Monday, September 23, 2013

Facebook report

A friend of mine showed me a tool that you can find under
It'll analyse your facebook account and give you quite a lot of figures. Some of them are just fun facts (most common friend names, who is your youngest facebook friend, how many of the women/men in your network are in a relationship...), some of them use the concepts we've talked about in class (connectors in your network, social 'gateways', in- and outsiders...).
It's worth having a look!

Berkman Center for Internet & Society

The Berkman Center at Harvard is a great resource for anyone interested in the intersection of the internet, technology, law and civic society. In addition to a useful weekly e-newsletter, browsing their website and publications may offer students some inspiration for thinking about SNA projects and research.

Their Media Cloud project is particularly interesting -- the "Mapping the SOPA/PIPA Debate" publication illustrates how a handful of West Coast tech media players (Wired, CNET) brought the SOPA-PIPA debate out from obscurity into the public's attention.

How Twitter makes its money

You may be surprised. Did you know, for instance, that you can buy your way onto the Top 10 Trending List? So much for the rigors of Social Network Analysis!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Using Email as a Proxy to Map Social Networks

We've seen applications which use your Facebook data to do social network analysis. At MIT Media Lab, they now offer another option: using your email. Using an app called Immersion, you can visualize your social network based on your email. While there is an obvious limitation here: that this analysis would only be based on the specific email address used, it is still an interesting tool.
A Wired article about Immersion notes an interesting implication: "In short, [Immersion] offers a glimpse of the other side of privacy in the age of Big Data: It’s not just what data governments have, it’s what tools they have to process it."
via Wired.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Thanks to Julia Leis from the 2012 SNO classs for this

I recently came across MIT's Human Dynamics Lab and has some great articles for your students this fall. - I really liked this article about bees and social networks:

SNA in Baltimore's Best Export: The Wire

For those of you who are fans of The Wire and interested in SNA, you're in luck. Season 3, Episode 7 features some "high-tech" cell phone network analysis by your favorite detectives from Charm City. Plus, as an added bonus, check out that RETRO laptop. Vintage, baby.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Military Scientists Solve the Problem of Viral Marketing?

The paper linked in this article has just come out and is causing quite a stir. The answer seems simple, and, if it works, it is, and it will be appealing to social media marketers and terrorism analysts alike. It is basic SNA, they type students will learn in my courses and others.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Twitter vs Facebook--and Google?

On the eve of Twitter's IPO, here is a comparison between it and FB with useful links to other articles. Something to consider: while FB owns Instagram, and Twitter owns Vine, Google owns YouTube, so don't expect Google to sit on the sidelines and let the other two duke it out.

How many people on Social Media sites in September, 2013?

Pretty useful site. According to author: "The most comprehensive list of how many people are using over 250 of the top social media, apps and services from around the world." He sources all his stats, so you can decide for yourself.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

"All those guys were connected to was pizza shops"

A long, interesting article on the head of the NSA and his infatuation with Big Data and networks  Keith Alexander: The Cowboy of the NSA