Networks, networks, boy do we have networks
March 23rd, 2006 by JTJ

Comes this interesting post on the Complexity and Social Networks Blog….

Social Networks and the Business World

By Alexander Schellong

Network Theory and its principles are applied by more and more
companies in a way that some of us might not be aware of yet. So what
we buy, how we rate products/services, post in forums, pictures we
upload or present of ourselves on the web is significantly influencing
other, likeminded individuals. In return we are influenced by the
network cluster we belong to for a specific habit and the like. Collaborative filtering is a key component of using social networks for different purposes. Further information can be found here. Below you will find a list of various industry and application examples:

Social Networking plattforms
There are the obvious social networking online plattforms. Among them
are the open business and personal contact manegement oriented like , openbc, friendster or the inivitation only communities like asmallworld.
Either planned or already implemented users can take advantage of added
services (search functionality, messaging) by paying a monthly fee
10< USD. Furthermore, there are the rather dating/partner match
making plattforms like match or eharmony.

Most of today's ecommerce sites use collaborative filtering to improve
sales, cross-,up- and downselling. A prominent example are Amazon's
recommendations based on various user behaviours on their website.

Tapping into our musical tastes Last FM, Genielab or Pandora present us with streaming music. Here the main business model lies in linking to the respective ecommerce sites like Apple's iTunes.

The same applies to the area of what we might want to read next which also serves ecommerce purposes.

Movies and more
is a free service provided by GroupLens Research at the University of
Minnesota. Whether, you want to book a hotel, whole vacation there are
numerous examples of collaborative filtering apps on websites.

The most prominent example for sharing, managing and searching for pictures is Flickr or myspace. The latter gaining revenues from online-ads.

Search engines
As I have elaborated in an earlier entry on google bombs the network structure (ties) play an important role in search engine algorithms.

Knowledge Base and OpenSource
The online encyclopedia Wikipedia builds on the power of decentralized, voluntary collaboration building an enourmous depository of multi-language information. Whether it was the development of Linux, Mozilla/Firefox or MySQL all rely on and consist of social networks. Further examples of openSource projects can be found at Sourceforge.

SNA Consulting
As we can see the character and concepts of networks is mainly utilized
for recommendations. Actual applications of SNA is done by a few
companies and consultants like Rob Cross, IBM, Orgnet or Visiblepath.
These companies try to uncover the informal networks within
organisations to improve knowledge sharing, initiate change or bridging

Finally, you can always follow latest trends in social network analysis at PNG's subpage on SNA by Ines Mergel.

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