Ross Mayfield's Weblog
Markets, Technology and Musings

(by most recent)

Search weblog
Search WWW


Friday, January 03, 2003

Network Disciplines & Options

Must read article from Strategy + Business weaves together reviews of network theory books Linked, Nexus & Smart Mobs.  But what's really interesting are the two points made by the article itself:

Suggests that the reason network theory is taking off is its multi-disciplinary.  Physicists talking to Sociologists talking to Mathematicians talking to Economists talking to Organizational Theorists.  There might even be room for a political-economist marketeer in there somewhere.  But the point I fundamentally believe is the only time innovation occurs is as a result of interdisciplinary dialogue.  This is why startups need diverse management teams from the outset.  And what's cool about network theory is it is developing the science of what networks to connect.  So you have an innovation that exponentially sparks innovation.

The article also draws parallels between network theory and Black Scholes option pricing theory.  Understanding how to price an option created enormous derivative wealth while reducing risk.  The question is 5-10 years from now if there will be a similar model in network theory.  Perhaps there is model as simple and elegant that prices the value of a link or cluster?  But what's interesting to me is that a link is essentially an option, so these two disciplines may not be as far apart as we think.

Back when I was the CEO of a risk management software company I learned a fundamental principle, that risk management models are constantly evolving.  There is always a fat tail out there, lurking, ready to show that the distribution is really skewed.  But every time that major event happens, it provides new data, new understanding -- and the model evolves.

Network theory needs data and change over time for models to emerge. 

4:14:54 PM    comment []

Discussing 'Social Software'

Matt Jones raises the debate/discussion on Social Software:

In the pub last night Matt Webb and myself discussed this subject area: it's fuzziness and our frustrations with it. The best and most useful definition I have that we got to was:

"Social software = software that's better because there's people there"

[e.g. amazon, google, ebay, slashdot, and at a larger scale: the blogosphere and the web as a whole]

Ross Mayfield [who's blog is a definite find for designers considering social software] has this as an attractive and useful definition of Social Software:

"Social Software adapts to its environment, instead of requiring its environment to adapt to software."

Seems to me there's a lot of cross-over with the discussions and thoughts in the experience-design blogosphere about 'adaptive design' of the last couple of months.

At the moment, it seems to me, the discussion of social software is massively technocentric, seat'n'screen-centric, expert-user-centric; possibly as an innocent result of those in it's vanguard. For a real great leap forward IMHO, we need to cross the streams of social software and smartmobs with adaptive design. Expand and map the discussion from:



places-that-are better-for-people-cos-there's-software-there;

and in both cases have the emphasis on people.

Great discussion going on in the comments to this post that I strongly reccomend. 

9:43:24 AM    comment []

Social Network Feedback

The social network map is in Daypop's top 10.  What's interesting is how this meme is being spread through its own social network pattern, beginning with Tribe Members, through hubs like Dave, Meg, Doc and SmartMobs, and now tipping to popular, but not mainstream, distribution.  This is the tipping point in action.

But let's talk Gonzo Marketing for a moment, is this engaging in conversations?  The feedback is still coming predominantly from those with stronger ties, Tribe Members, just one degree of seperation away.  But the feedback is great and dialogues will ensue. 

Here are some of the best comments in order of which we may enhance the project:

  • Euan on Data Collection: I was writing on my own blog that the internet needs more cartographers and less architects! Is there any way the rest of us could extend the map?
  • Ton Zijlstra makes the key point that we need a moving picture: It would be great if we could make sort of 'snapshots' of the networks as time proceeds. But I think this is only feasible if you can automate the data collection process further.
  • Andrea posts eloquently on the need for directionality: One aspect may still need some tweaking: The representation makes no difference between one-way relationships and those that are based on reciprocity. Someone who has all the luminaries on his blogroll but whose contribution for whatever reason is not very visible will seem just as connected as someone else who is widely read and recognized.
  • seb further comments on directionality: Horizons are not the same depending in which direction you follow the arrows. If you have a big inbound horizon you are highly visible and possibly influential. Many people know you. If you have a big outbound horizon you see a lot of landscape. You know many people. The two are different.
  • Adina points out the need for clustering, particlarly on topics
  • Zack Lynch wants it to be navigable to Ryze information.  Others have wanted navigability to blogs.

So what do you think?

8:49:15 AM    comment []

Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website. © Copyright 2003 Ross Mayfield.
Last update: 2/1/2003; 7:49:07 AM.
This theme is based on the SoundWaves (blue) Manila theme, but severly tweaked.

January 2003
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  
Dec   Feb

<--Older | Newer-->

Subscribe to "Ross Mayfield's Weblog" in Radio UserLand. Click to see the XML version of this web page. Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog. @Ryze FOAF

Subscribe by email:

Recent Posts

HotTopic Outline