[foaf-dev] [Fwd: [FoRK] The Social Pulse of Human Connectivity On A Planetary Scale]

Daniel E. Renfer duck at kronkltd.net
Thu Apr 23 16:32:30 CEST 2009


Danny Ayers <danny.ayers at gmail.com> writes:

> 2009/4/23 Simon Reinhardt <simon.reinhardt at koeln.de>:
>> Dan Brickley wrote:
>>> Rather interesting! Assuming MSN users are representative...
>
> Yup, interesting.
>
>> I think there are local preferences over which IM network to use. In Germany ICQ had always been the most widespread one but MSN has caught up among the younger ones (different generations of friends). Nowadays it's not instant messengers anymore but social networks I assume. Unfortunately I could never find any statistics that compared usage in different countries. But I would say MSN's not *that* representative. :-)
>
> I'm not sure the result really adds much weight to 6.x being a
> constant given that a couple of extra variables are introduced -
>
> 1. there's (probably) a lower barrier to making acquaintances online
> than in meatspace (reducing the distance)
> 2. not everyone uses MSN, or even is online (increasing the distance)
>
> I would suspect that 1. would mean that in general the average
> distance is a lot shorter now than Milgram's time, and in the MSN
> results 2. just coincidentally happens to push the figure back up
> again.
>
> Cheers,
> Danny.

It's interesting that they only did this amongst messages sent, and not
just MSN accounts. I have several MSN accounts in theory, but never use
them. I wouldn't be included in this study.

I'm really suprised that they were able to find connections. It seems
very likely that there are a sizable number of small groups that use MSN
to communicate only within the group and nowhere else. Were these people
excluded from the group? It seems more likely that it was something more
to the effect of "if a connection COULD be made, it could be made in
less than 7 hops."

It's too bad that the distributed nature of XMPP makes it hard to do a
similar study with that one.

Daniel E. Renfer
xri: @id*duck


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