elastic social networks

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Elastic Social Networks

Elastic Social NetworksBy Manas Garg(1st of June, 2011)Social Network(s)

Social Platforms

Leaky Abstractions

SourceSocial Platforms TodayOnline Social Platforms are simplified models of real Social NetworksA Social Model defines a set of rules for users to interact with each otherTypes of relationshipsPrivacy aka Rules of Content VisibilityRules of Communication (who can talk to who?)Different Social Platforms with Different Models co-existEvolution of Social PlatformsEmergence of Social Platforms in niche areasSmaller number of potential usersStronger sense of belongingCommon Interest as the binding forceSeeding of connections from big daddies(Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter have APIs)Different Social Model for different platformsChallenge for New PlatformsProviding value to users even at a smaller scaleChallenge for New Platforms

Big DaddyNewbieChallenge for New Platforms

Big DaddyNewbieLots of Connections. High likelihoodto consume & communicateChallenge for New Platforms

Big DaddyNewbieFew connections, less likelihood toconsume & communicateReal Social Model

Socializing as it happensPeople just run into each otherSocialization is spontaneousYou dont need crowd to have companySubtle/Explicit gestures to engage and disengagePeople communicate and the connections get formedPeople dont create connections before they communicateElastic Social NetworksTerm Elastic Social Network was formalized by Color (early 2011)An emerging method for modeling Social PlatformsThe rules (privacy & ability to communicate) are evolvingThe model has been around, the term is newEarly Implementations

What are the Likely Characteristics of Elastic Social Networks?Connection follows Conversation

Grouping Beyond ConnectionMultiple ways to bring people togetherNot just connectionsParameter based (all blues together)Heuristics based (A likes B, A likes C; B might like C)

Signal Based RecommendationsThe system collects & analyzes behavioral dataTracks your level of engagement with othersDetermines the likelihood of you getting along with a person

Driving ForcesUpcoming Social Platforms need to find their grooveNew platforms must provide ways to form new connections instead of just leveraging existing onesNew platforms must deliver value even with smaller number of usersExisting Platforms need to stay relevantNeed to go beyond connection and look at quality of connectionChallengesAlternate ways to present contentReverse Chronological News Feed not as relevant in Elastic NetworksAlgorithms to bring people togetherRequires a self-learning, recommendation engineAbuse controlConnection based model is inherently abuse resistantSummarySocial Platforms are simplified models of real Social NetworksElastic Social Networks move beyond connections based Social ModelElastic Social Networks present opportunity for new Social PlatformsThere are usability, privacy & technical challenges in building Elastic Social Networks