Monday, February 24, 2003

Just discovered a very interesting homepage for INSAA:

"This page contains information about the International Network for Social Network Analysis and related subjects. INSNA Here you will find Social Networks information, reference sources and links to related home pages". There is a lot to explore here, it will take time to find everything of interest. I did join their listserve SOCNET. They link to three different journals on their home page:
Connections An official journal of International Network for Social Network Analysis
Social Networks
Journal of Social Structure

Particularly interesting is this link off the INSAA homepage called Hot Topics. The two hot topics are: Social Capital and Scale-free / Power Law and Small-world networks. There are scores of interesting links under each of these hot topics.


Debi Jones sent an email today to the SPM Management regarding the paper Social Science at 190 MPH on NASCAR's Biggest Superspeedways by David Ronfeldt.

Debi writes (quoted with permission) -- "The author illustrates most of the concepts in the 12 Principles and the strength of weak ties*. It's a comprehensive treatment with an unexpected example. The great thing about his example is the 'real world' illustration of how we use identity and reputation and to make decisions about exchanges (transactions). The quote that caught my attention as related to SPM is: '...the way to out-compete is to out-cooperate.' The trick of knowing when to cooperate and when to complete is probably the distinction between being successful and just getting by. That's seems to be the point he's making when writing about Jeff Gordon's strategies and choices. An aside: I, also, was drawn to his distinction between the value of being a hub of the network versus being on the edge and connecting multiple networks. [Most people want to be a hub, however],I think the more desirable position is a connector between and/or across networks."

*Granovetter, M. (1973). Strength of Weak Ties. American Journal of Sociology, vol. 78, 1973

Wow, I just Googled "strength of weak ties" and there are about 1,000 references. I'd did this about 6 months ago, when I was first researching how SPM might use the "strength of weak ties", and I sure don't remember so many links. Googling ["strength of weak ties" SPM] yields four relevant links. There was even an article in Fast Company in December 1996 that mentions this social theory -- "The Virus of Marketing", by Jeffrey Rayport, illustrations by Phillip Anderson, from FC issue 6, page 68:

Rule 5: Exploit the strength of weak ties
Sociologists have long noted that individuals with many casual social connections have a larger influence on communities than do individuals with fewer strong connections. Viruses thrive on weak ties. The movement of viruses over the Web -- a practically infinite collection of weak ties in countless virtual communities -- is a prime example."

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