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Social Networking

(January 25, 2008)  Here is the Friday wrap up for the week.
Introduction to Social Network Theory
Social network theory is a branch of social science that applies to a wide range of human organizations, from small groups of people to entire nations. The term network refers to a set of objects, or nodes, and a mapping or description of the relationship between the objects. In the case of social networks, the objects refer to people or groups of people. For example, a network might consist of a person and a mapping from that person to each of his or her friends and relatives. These mapping can be directional or bi-directional. An example of a directional mapping would be if person A liked person B, but person B did not like person A. This is a directional mapping from person A to person B. An example of a bi-directional mapping would be if person A and person B both liked each other.

One of the reasons social network theory is studied is that by understanding the mappings connecting one individual to others, one can evaluate the social capital of that individual. "Social capital refers to the network position of the object or node and consists of the ability to draw on the resources contained by members of the network" [1]. Basically the more mappings a person has in the social network and the more mappings these people have, the more knowledge, influence, and power the original person will control. Social capital can have a substantial influence on a person's life; affecting such aspects as job searches and potential for promotions. Social networks can also help sociologists identify primary groups and cliques. I will now discuss some of the current research in the field of social network theory.
From Current Research in Social Network Theory by Jason Ethier
          (ethier@(REMOVE THIS)ccs.neu.edu)

Must Read Article:
TechCrunch Backs-up Our Google Social Network Theory

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