Tuesday, July 13, 2010

People Networks and Sharing

This slide deck from a Google UX Researcher is long but can be flipped through easily enough: http://www.slideshare.net/padday/the-real-life-social-network-v2. I think it's worthwhile. It's got lots to say, and thoughts to provoke, about networks of people in general (social or otherwise).

Just one of many amazing stats from the deck: just four callees account for 80% of the average phone user's calls. It's interesting that attention is paid to the phone call network; back in 2002 a colleague and I at Qwest were looking into precisely how calling records might be mined for social inference, ultimately to deliver more intelligent telephony products. Still today I think this is an enormous unexplored area for carriers.

The presentation is pretty silent on one important element of people networks, though: it covers the idea of disjoint subnetworks but not how interaction behaviors derive from the substance of the connections (social, professional, familial, theme-based, and so on). Ade's post (Ade's another Googler) at http://blog.oshineye.com/2010/06/spectrum-of-networks.html proposes a spectrum but he conflates the concepts of network behavior (eg. conversation) with network substance (eg. social). Conversation is one of the activities which may emerge on, or be enabled by, one network or another; but I don't think that conversation defines a network to an extent that calling it a "conversational network" makes sense.

The topic in general is deep and not fully understood. Something we know is that autosharing a YouTube video on Twitter results on average in five times as many incremental views as autosharing that same video on Facebook. Why? One hypothesis is that a user's followers on Twitter are typically following that user because of a shared taste for content, whereas a social connection on Facebook conveys comparatively less "mutual interest" information. This is a property of interest-based graphs versus social graphs, and it's highly relevant when studying how information propagates through a network of people.

You can imagine that "how information is shared through people networks" is something which is very interesting to developers and publishers of content, whose existences depend on their reach and resonance. I'm lucky enough to be working (for Twitter) with a number of publishers with a desire to understand networks of people and how they help in the distribution of information. I expect many interesting discoveries on the way.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Work Thoughts

I've been talking to a bunch of people about exciting jobs recently, so I thought I'd round up some of my recent thinking in one place.

Here are my recent posts about work-type stuff:


And for further enjoyment here's a photo from downtown San Francisco the other day:


Monday, July 05, 2010

Meeting The Bean

We're nominally due to meet The Bean on Saturday July 31st. However, it's drastically more likely that we'll first meet The Bean on some other day than on that one. Some selected statistics:

  • about 5% of births occur on the exact 40-week due date
  • about 70% occur after
  • about 25% occur before
  • a full 20% don't even occur within 2 weeks of the 40-week due date

All in all, we're probably more likely to meet The Bean on Wendy's pick of dates (August 3rd) than on mine (July 26th). I figure, though, if you don't bet against the odds when your instincts tell you then you'll never win big.

The Bean's Room, unlike the #hippiehomebirth schedule, is progressing in a highly organized and predictable fashion. Two weeks ago we did stroller drill:

and last week we put up the crib:
and then today we installed the sheets and the changing table:

I changed the pictures on the walls, too. It used to be a couple of my moody Bernal favorites:

Man on Hill

Now it's two more colorful Bernal favorites of mine:

Powhattan & Nevada
Bernal Saxophonists

The Bean will be called either Lux or Harrison, depending on which name best suits.

I cannot wait to meet it.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Twitter Afternoon

I forgot to include a photo with the last post. Here's one taken in the afternoon from the Twitter office:

Twitter Office