Mining Social Networks For Profit

Spoke ScreenEveryone knows that the value is in the network. SNA is a wonderful tool for academic and I am using it to map my local webs of commerce. The folks at Spoke however are doing this one step better. They have the typically enormous and touted list of key decision makers and influencers at companies around the world. Nothing short of a big Spam list there. However, on joining the network, you contribute your own contact list. Again nothing revolutionary in that…but here’s where it gets interesting. The little client that harvests your contacts for Spoke also measures how connected (inbetweeness in SNA-speak) you are based on frequency and nature of contact based on your email history. Sure its not flawless, but when you overlay this with all the other participants they are building one mega web and are creating a potentially rich map of influence flows. It raises some serious privacy and trust issues, but it is clearly pushing the envelope one step beyond. Many CRM apps are out there trying to build similar webs in an automated fashion, but generally require huge rejigging and manual creation of hierarchical relationship by thew user. Few actually automate the process, let alone start to weight the results through contactedness (not connectedness) mining. Intriguing.

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Media Click Thru and ROI

screen lastkiss I don’t normally click thru for adverts and the like, but after wtching an episode of zeFrank today the producer sof the movie The Last Kiss had cleverly bought some space. Why did I click? Well, lately zeFrank’s been pretty entertaining and I figured why not support the site. I am glad I did. The site for the movie is quite a nice piece of flash. Nicely open page, lots of white space and a very smooth and, in my mind, thoughtful navigation widget. Small popup from the bottom tied to the movie’s theme, but very user-centric. Works for me. Try it yourself. The incentive was to hear the soundtrack and it happens to strike me as appealing and is running as a loop in the background as I write this. All in all I was struck by the value of this click thru and similarly by the path from a podCast I subscribe to to this movie which presumably has some thought given to demographic tastes in just such a clickthru.