22 January 2012

Echo Chambers, Information Discovery & Role of Weak Ties in Social Networks

Do social networks give you a more diverse perspective on the world through helping you see more people's opinions?
Are they an echo chamber that just reinforces your opinions since the people you share with probably have similar opinions to your own?

Here's a gist of a rather longish Facebook paper on the diversity of information within networks:

  • Information we consume and share on Facebook is actually much more diverse than conventional wisdom might suggest
  • Facebook is not a echo chamber
  • We are exposed to and spread more information from our distant contacts than our close friends.  Since these distant contacts tend to be different from us, the bulk of information we consume and share comes from people with different perspectives. 

The long version of the research paper is here

21 January 2012

Designing for Social

Heard this a while ago at a Facebook Workshop and this simple sense check has stayed true for me till today.

Transcend Social By Design from concept to practice by asking 2 basic questions of the content, events, participation ideas etc.... you introduce into your conversations:
  1. Why would people care?
  2. Why would they share?
And take culture, context, a specific behavioral insight, purpose & equity of the brand to shortlist.