Network Theory: A Brief Introduction june 2012


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A brief introduction to network theory which introduces my COMM 620 MBA class to three different strands of research explaining the context within which digital tools are used.

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Network Theory: A Brief Introduction june 2012

  1. 1. Network Theory The Essentials Michael Netzley, PhD
  2. 2. Networks are thecontext in which“shiny objects” are used.
  3. 3. Twitter &Queenstown
  4. 4. We are Social Creatures
  5. 5. We Live in Networks
  6. 6. Decentralized Networks
  7. 7. Where is the head onthe following spiders?
  8. 8. Begin with a Strong Foundation
  9. 9. Research Says
  10. 10. Harvard Med School: Emotions SpreadThrough Large Social Networks Conclusion: People’s happiness depends on the happiness of others with whom they are connected. This provides further justification for seeing happiness, like health, as a collective phenomenon. - British Medical Journal 337 (2008) Fowler and Christakis
  11. 11. Harvard Med School: Obesity SpreadsThrough Large Social Networks “You may not know him personally, but your friend’s husband’s coworker can make you fat. And your sister’s friend’s boyfriend can make you thin.” - Fowler and Christakis (2009) Connected
  12. 12. Harvard Political Scientist:Why Americans Vote If you vote, then it increases the likelihood that your friend’s friend will also vote….Instead of each of us having only one vote, we effectively have several and therefore much more likely to influence the outcome. - Fowler and Christakis (2009) Connected
  13. 13. 2525252525
  14. 14. 155
  15. 15. Friend’s Friend’s Friend
  16. 16. Rule: Three Degreesof Influence
  17. 17. Rule: Connectionsneed to be strong;you need not knowthe people.
  18. 18. TED Video
  19. 19. InfluenceContagion
  20. 20. Research Says
  21. 21. Mark Granovetter & Weak Ties •  The Strength of Weak Ties •  #7 globally in Social Science Citation Index, 2000-2010 •  Action is enabled & constrained by social ties between people •  Where in the network matters (embedded)
  22. 22. The Concept of Embeddedness
  23. 23. Where Embedded?
  24. 24. Weak Ties: Definedweak ties (acquaintances,not close friends) enablereaching populations andaudiences that are notaccessible via strong ties.
  25. 25. When to Use Weak Ties•  Speed of Distribution•  Less Dependent on Others•  Reach Distant Targets with Whom We are not Connected•  Innovative Ideas or Models•  Episodic Information Flows•  Bridge Diverse Groups
  26. 26. When to Use Strong Ties•  Urgent Situation•  Dependency for Well Being•  Decision Making•  Ethos-Based Infuence•  Acess: Doors Opened•  Regular Information Flows•  Change Target’s Values
  27. 27. Research Says
  28. 28. Manuel Castells •  The Rise of the Network Society •  #5 globally in Social Science Citation Index, 2000-2010 •  Power now rests in networks: “the logic of the network is more powerful than the powers of the network”
  29. 29. Basic Idea A network society is a society where the key social structures and activities are organized around electronically processed information networks. So its not just about networks or social networks, because social networks have been very old forms of social organization. Its about social networks which process and manage information and are using micro-electronic based technologies. Source
  30. 30. Society remains capitalist, but basis of the technological means bywhich it acts has changed from energy to information. This informationis of central importance in determining economic productivity.Communications technologies allow for the annihilation of space andfor globalization; the potential for rapid and asynchronouscommunication also changes the relationship to time. And, while heexplains that networks are not a new form of social organization, theyhave become a “key feature of social morphology” (2000a, p. 5). Thisis because communication technologies, such as the Internet, allowfor decentralization of operations and focusing of control, increasingthe effectiveness of networks relative to hierarchical structures. Ofbusiness he writes, “[t]he main shift can be characterized as the shiftfrom vertical bureaucracies to the horizontal corporation” (2000b, p.176). Source
  31. 31. Space of Flows: Facebook 2010
  32. 32. Space of Places
  33. 33. How We Now Organize Societal elites are now much less connected to cities [places], and are instead connected to information flows. Thus, the network serves as our organizing principle.
  34. 34. Networks
  35. 35. Enablethe free flow of info
  36. 36. ExpandYourResourceBase
  37. 37. Pass-Along Effect
  38. 38. Credibility:Peer Pass-Alongs are Influential
  39. 39. Embeddedin theNetwork
  40. 40. Weak &Strong Ties
  41. 41. Bridging CentalPeripheral
  42. 42. Influencers
  43. 43. Tipping Point for Ideas: Just 10%? Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society.•  Social Cognitive Networks Academic Research Center (SCNARC)•  journal Physical Review E in an article titled “Social consensus through the influence of committed minorities.” Source
  44. 44. The Data
  45. 45. Due to influencers or influenceable?
  46. 46. Exercise