Saturday, 17 May 2008

Social network analysis

What’s relevant about Gladwell’s tipping point theory for networks and business intelligence, is that he identifies not only the importance of word of mouth and social interaction in the take-up of ideas, products and services, but also three key types of individual that are needed to achieve this - Connectors, Mavens and Salespersons.

  • Connectors are people with huge numbers of network links,
  • Mavens are people who research everything before they buy, compare and search out all the best deals, and
  • Salespersons are the persuaders i.e. the ones who find a good or deal and have the drive and power to convince others and sell their ideas.

In the real world, Connectors need charm and personality, but I’d argue that online it is different. Connectedness is much easier and more democratic online as people are already well connected through search engines. The really connected ones then are those who not only share their views, but those whose content or opinion is considered valuable by others and visited frequently, added to favourites and followed through RSS. These then, are our hubs. The ideal version are a personality combination of Maven and Salesperson, and if you are an enterprise, your dream hub is someone is also well connected offline too.

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