Social Networks

Entries related to social networks, group psychology, anthropology, and really any of the social sciences.


This morning, Steve Rubel noted that John Edwards was one of his followers on Twitter. Sure enough, Sen. Edwards has over 500 friends and followers on Twitter and he’s also following me. I figured it was time to get a little more involved with Twitter.

Freedom to Connect

If I hadn’t of spent most of last week down in DC live blogging the Libby trial deliberations, I would be down there right now to participate in Freedom to Connect. Fortunately, it will be streaming online with a live chat back channel going on at the same time.

There are many aspects to our freedom to connect. Some of the bigger issues are things like net neutrality, municipal wireless and the digital divide. Yet there are other things that inhibit our ability to connect. How usable are communication tools to use? How well do they interconnect?

Regionalized Social Media

Over the past several months, I’ve been involved with various regional efforts in the progressive political blogosphere. I keep posting on my own blog, as well as various national blogs, but I also participate in Connecticut’s progressive political blog of record, MyLeftNutmeg. From time to time I visit neighboring regional progressive political blogs of record like BlueMassGroup, Below Boston, Blue Hampshire, Green Mountain Daily all in New England, and blogs like Culture Kitchen in New York, and Blue Jersey in New Jersey.

Yet social media is much more than just progressive political blogs. In New England, the New England News Forum is convening a conference on how changing media is changing civic involvement. It will include journalists, bloggers, educators, people interested in economic development and social issues.

I will be co-leading a session, “From DC courts to NH campaigns: Has blogging gone mainstream media?” I hope that many of my friends from New England regional blogs attend, and participate in discussions of how the broader spectrum of social media interacts in New England for the benefit of us all.

(cross posted at a bunch of the blogs listed above)

About Social Networks

Obama’s social network and Edwards’ campaign office in Second Life have spawned another round of discussions about the value of online social networks. Second Life is more than just a social network, but a lot of the concerns about Second Life apply to a general discussion of social networks.

I’ve been writing about social networks for a few years now and you can see some my posts about social networks here.

Before I start talking much about social networks, I would like to address some of the general criticisms of social networks. It seems like a common occurrence with any new technology is as the technology starts gaining popularity, people start coming out and pointing out how the technology might be less than people expecting. Some of this is, perhaps, just a normal part of a technology adoption curve. It may be in part, people who are afraid of being disrupted pointing out the problems with a disrupting technology. Some of it may simply be people looking at a glass being half empty instead of being half full, and some of it may be best summarized in the quote that Robert Kennedy adapted from George Bernard Shaw, "Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not."

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Virtual foreign exchange trading

(Originally posted at Toomre Capital Markets.)

Every day, around $2 trillion of currencies are traded, dollars, yen, euros, as spot trades, as well as various types of derivatives, including forwards, forex swaps and options. This sort of volume makes the $200,000 traded daily on the Second Life spot exchange seem particularly small. However, with Second Life’s economy at least tripling annually, it may well be a market worth exploring in detail.

There are various things needed for an efficient market. First and foremost, you need good market data. Second Life provides some good economic data on a daily basis, but is it possible to get this data on a real time basis? Could we set up a market data feed?

At TCM, we look at how to pull together emerging innovations in the financial services industry by thinking outside of the box. Read more to find out what we’ve done so far with Second Life and how it could be used with other emerging tools.

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