As reflected in Buysiders posts since we started it, we’ve been increasingly interested in and puzzled by networks. There has been a number of talks, books and studies on how to take advantage of social networks – and certainly not just those of the online world. But many behaviors are non-linear, counter-intuitive and therefore extremely hard (perhaps impossible) to model, which has the potential consequence of generating tons of opportunities. This short Q&A with Nicholas Christakis, author of one the most famous books on the subject, is not the best possible source but highlights the key issues in an easy way. For more, his May 2010 and June 2010 TED talks are very interesting.
Two related links:
Untangling the social web – Economist, October 2010: “From retailing to counterterrorism, the ability to analyse social connections is proving increasingly useful” — The applications are mind-boggling, from the very simple – social-media enriched search results – to those we can’t really envision yet.
Google to map inflation using web data – Financial Times, Oct. 12th 2010. Always interesting to see what GOOG can do with those huge amounts of automatically amassed but individually inputted (collectively served) real-time chunks of data. It’s a huge potential asset waiting to be turned on. In this specific inflation case, it would be interesting to think about the possible consequences of something like a real-time price index ‘catching’ with the masses…
The Nicholas Christakis videos: