Wondering what's a social network?

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According to Dana Boyd and Nicole B. Ellison in Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship 

We define social network sites as web-based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system. The nature and nomenclature of these connections may vary from site to site.

Read their article for a wonderful overview of social networks, their roots and some recent research. What's not discussed in much detail but deserves attention too is how much social networks get influenced by one another. Features present on social network quickly gravitate to the next. We're going to see a lot more of this if OpenSocial takes off and lots of applications are developed using it.

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Valdis Krebs said:

Here is a social graph of an actual on-line social network of about 2500 members...


This network was focused on a specific affiliation.

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