« When usenet was the world... |
| Britannica not so great on the fact checking department after all »
January 26, 2005
Finding Mavens in Usenet
Yesterday I had a long chat with one of the humans at Microsoft, Marc Smith, who runs the Netscan project which provides analysis of Usenet. During our conversation he shared how they are using social network analysis to identify types of participants in threaded discussions.
One of these types is represented in these three graphs produced by Danyel Fisher, also of the Microsoft Research Community Technologies Group, is of Answer People. Marc described them simply as people who answer people who dont answer people. They are the central nodes with many uni-directional ties. APs are what Malcom Gladwell would call Mavens, their influence is through their expertise, which they share widely.
AOL isn’t just handing over Usenet to Google, Netscan has a firmer grasp of this very long tail. It will be disconcerting for most to find data about you made explicit and visualized, especially when its personified, which raises real issues. At a certain point, being Profiled (RSS) as a Maven for Windows XP (RSS) who has bad Mondays may innundate you with pitches every other day of the week, so you might stop. The difference between explicit and implicit categorization and relationships is going to blur very quickly.
UPDATE: Go see Danyel Fisher’s subsequent comment on AOL/Usenet and his comment below which implies Connectors in these images. Also take the Rorschach test for yourself.
+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: social software
- RELATED ENTRIES
- Spolsky on Blog Comments: Scale matters
- "The internet's output is data, but its product is freedom"
- Andrew Keen: Rescuing 'Luddite' from the Luddites
- knowledge access as a public good
- viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace
- Gorman, redux: The Siren Song of the Internet
- Mis-understanding Fred Wilson's 'Age and Entrepreneurship' argument
- The Future Belongs to Those Who Take The Present For Granted: A return to Fred Wilson's "age question"