Gladwell Meets Twitter, Facebook, Flickr…

I grew up in England with people that rarely told you much about themselves. It simply wasn’t done. Some of those same people are now friends on Facebook and are people I follow on Twitter. I’m finding that I know more about them now than I did when we lived in the same city. Are Facebook and Twitter therefore becoming a measure of the degree to which you know someone? Should you rank your personal network based on those that you interact with via these social networks more highly than those you simply meet from time to time? Of course some people use Facebook and Twitter more than others, just as some people blog more frequently than others (yes I know what you’re thinking). The active participants are of course the ones you will know most about, which leads me to my next thought: I can see someone like Malcolm Gladwell doing a book on social exposure, the degree to which we expose our personality and thoughts online and how that defines us. Are ‘mavens’ in Gladwell’s Tipping Point, likely to have large social networks and to divulge large amounts about their likes and dislikes on Twitter and Facebook? Are his ‘connectors’ the ones that simply drive the creation of social networks? I can see technology that analyzes people’s Facebook pages and then slots them in to Galdwell’s character types. Would that be useful for PR people? Maybe.


One Comment on “Gladwell Meets Twitter, Facebook, Flickr…”

  1. josephk says:

    You might find MIT's Personas project of interest. "Personas scours the web for information and attempts to characterize the person – to fit them to a predetermined set of categories that an algorithmic process created from a massive corpus of data. The computational process is visualized with each stage of the analysis, finally resulting in the presentation of a seemingly authoritative personal profile."

    MIT says it's more art than scientific tool at this point but you can certainly see where this is going.

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