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Social selection and peer influence in an online social network

Disentangling the effects of selection and influence is one of social science's greatest unsolved puzzles: Do people befriend others who are similar to them, or do they become more similar to their friends over time? Recent advances in stochastic actor-based modeling, combined with self-reported data on a popular online social network site, allow us to address this question with a greater degree of precision than has heretofore been possible. Using data on the Facebook activity of a cohort of college students over 4 years, we find that students who share certain tastes in music and in movies, but not in books, are significantly likely to befriend one another. Meanwhile, we find little evidence for the diffusion of tastes among Facebook friends—except for tastes in classical/jazz music. These findings shed light on the mechanisms responsible for observed network homogeneity; provide a statistically rigorous assessment of the coevolution of cultural tastes and social relationships; and suggest important qualifications to our understanding of both homophily and contagion as generic social processes.

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Social Networks: The science behind them
Examining the science behind social networks from network to social brain theory
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Non-Techie Cofounder Learns Code, Builds New Site Feature in 6 Days

Non-Techie Cofounder Learns Code, Builds New Site Feature in 6 Days | Social Networks: The science behind them | Scoop.it
Melissa McCreery had a good idea for her site, Company Muse, and didn't want to wait for the development team.
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What behavior signals if a woman or man is interested in someone? - Barking up the wrong tree

What behavior signals if a woman or man is interested in someone? - Barking up the wrong tree | Social Networks: The science behind them | Scoop.it
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Study: Facebook profile beats IQ test in predicting job performance

Can a person's Facebook profile reveal what kind of employee he or she might be? The answer is yes, and with unnerving accuracy, according to a new paper published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology.
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How To Integrate Facebook, Twitter And Google+ In WordPress - Smashing WordPress | Smashing WordPress

How To Integrate Facebook, Twitter And Google+ In WordPress - Smashing WordPress | Smashing WordPress | Social Networks: The science behind them | Scoop.it
Integrating social media services in your website design is vital if you want to make it easy for readers to share your content.
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Over 500 million Chinese citizens now connected to the web

Over 500 million Chinese citizens now connected to the web | Social Networks: The science behind them | Scoop.it
The number of internet-connected Chinese citizens jumped 4 percent in 2012, pushing the country's total number of users over the 500 million mark.
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Is It Time to Use Klout/Kred Scores as Part of the Hiring Process? - ERE.net

Has anyone asked you “what’s your Klout score?” If you are on the leading edge of corporate recruiting and you are constantly on the lookout for new tools and approaches, one of the emerging tools that you should be aware of is social media analytics that measure online influence.

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Social selection and peer influence in an online social network

Disentangling the effects of selection and influence is one of social science's greatest unsolved puzzles: Do people befriend others who are similar to them, or do they become more similar to their friends over time? Recent advances in stochastic actor-based modeling, combined with self-reported data on a popular online social network site, allow us to address this question with a greater degree of precision than has heretofore been possible. Using data on the Facebook activity of a cohort of college students over 4 years, we find that students who share certain tastes in music and in movies, but not in books, are significantly likely to befriend one another. Meanwhile, we find little evidence for the diffusion of tastes among Facebook friends—except for tastes in classical/jazz music. These findings shed light on the mechanisms responsible for observed network homogeneity; provide a statistically rigorous assessment of the coevolution of cultural tastes and social relationships; and suggest important qualifications to our understanding of both homophily and contagion as generic social processes.

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Can the World's Next Political Revolution Be Predicted By Computers?

Can the World's Next Political Revolution Be Predicted By Computers? | Social Networks: The science behind them | Scoop.it
Big data and sentiment analysis can do amazing things, whether it's in the enterprise or in the quest to create compelling applications and experiences for consumers. But can technology trends such as these actually predict major real-world events?
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How Would Ebenezer Scrooge Use Social Media? - Forbes

How Would Ebenezer Scrooge Use Social Media? - Forbes | Social Networks: The science behind them | Scoop.it
Are you a Scrooge when it comes to your social networks? Do you friend and follow with gusto or are you stingy with your human interaction?
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TechCrunch | Harvard Study: Social Networks Do Little To Influence Taste And Interests

TechCrunch | Harvard Study: Social Networks Do Little To Influence Taste And Interests | Social Networks: The science behind them | Scoop.it
Here's a bit of science that's contrary to what a heavy utilizer of social networks might expect.
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luiy's curator insight, March 28, 2013 8:41 PM

The Harvard study does indicate another thing, which is that social networks are, for now, “light” social interaction. Breaking into a new genre of music, discovering a new favorite director, getting book recommendations, these things don’t occur nearly as much on social networks as their proponents and heavy users would like to think. That’s changing, but Facebook doesn’t appear to be in a hurry to make the change to “serious” social interaction: the kind of trusted exchanges you have with friends in conversation or in repeated encounters over years that slowly convert you into a fan of David Lynch, or Scarlatti, or David Foster Wallace. Those are still the province of real life, it seems, even among the Facebook generation. But for how long?

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Social media in protests: Study finds 'recruiters' and 'spreaders'

A study has explored the dynamics behind social network sites in recruiting and spreading calls for action that contribute to mass mobilizations in riots, revolutions and protests.
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stevenberlinjohnson.com: Anatomy Of An Idea

People often ask me about my research techniques. You would think this would be a relatively straightforward question, but the truth is that I have to keep changing my answer, because my techniques are constantly shifting as new forms of...
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Your credit score and why it matters | Visual.ly

Credit scores are like permanent records at school: they’re a summary of how well you pay your bills, how likely you are to pay loans back, and how...
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Storyboard: Paolo Bacigalupi on Writing Political Sci-Fi for Young Adults

Storyboard: Paolo Bacigalupi on Writing Political Sci-Fi for Young Adults | Social Networks: The science behind them | Scoop.it
In his debut novel The Windup Girl, science fiction writer Paolo Bacigalupi explored a world ravaged by climate change and energy scarcity -...
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Why Klout really matters: Money, money, money

Why Klout really matters: Money, money, money | Social Networks: The science behind them | Scoop.it
Social media are a great source of information on consumer sentiment, but the next wave of analytics in social media will be influence.
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By leveraging social media for impact academics can create broader support for our intellectual work and profession | Impact of Social Sciences

By leveraging social media for impact academics can create broader support for our intellectual work and profession | Impact of Social Sciences | Social Networks: The science behind them | Scoop.it

Although these beliefs almost verge on common sense, in sociology and neighbouring fields academic social media use meets mixed reactions. It is still perceived as a side activity, potentially distracting scholars from their career-building tasks: journal articles, empirical research, teaching, etc. How can prolific academic bloggers, active Wikipedia contributors or Facebook community managers properly draw upon the efforts they deploy in their online contributions, and turn them into scientifically and socially impactful achievements?

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The 4 Reasons To Optimize Timing Of Social Media | Twitter Tips And Updates From Buffer

The 4 Reasons To Optimize Timing Of Social Media | Twitter Tips And Updates From Buffer | Social Networks: The science behind them | Scoop.it

Getting the timing of your posts on Facebook, Twitter and your blog right, isn’t always easy I found. Fortunately, Dan Zarrella, Social Media Scientist has now done a great comparison of the four key things to get right in Social Media:

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6 Incredible Examples Of How Twitter Predicts The Future | Twitter Tips And Updates From Buffer

6 Incredible Examples Of How Twitter Predicts The Future | Twitter Tips And Updates From Buffer | Social Networks: The science behind them | Scoop.it

How does predicting the future with the likes of Twitter and Facebook sound for you? Personally, I think this is really fascinating.

At over 250 million Tweets sent every day, there is a hell of a lot of information out there. A few smart people have said, that analyzing all these messages can give a significant insight over what will happen in the future.

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Social Networks More Influential in Emerging Markets - eMarketer

Social Networks More Influential in Emerging Markets - eMarketer | Social Networks: The science behind them | Scoop.it
Social network usage grows in emerging markets; users there more open to brands.
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» Why Black Market Entrepreneurs Matter to the World Economy

» Why Black Market Entrepreneurs Matter to the World Economy | Social Networks: The science behind them | Scoop.it
In Stealth of Nations: The Global Rise of the Informal Economy, Robert Neuwirth points out the importance of small, illegal, off-the-books businesses.
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Klout CEO Reveals How to Leverage Score for Fame, Fortune, Perks

Klout CEO Reveals How to Leverage Score for Fame, Fortune, Perks | Social Networks: The science behind them | Scoop.it
The CEO of Klout offers tips about how to boost your Klout score and leverage it for fame, fortune and new job opportunities.
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Study Shows ‘Social Influence’ Is Really Only ‘Social Selection’

Study Shows ‘Social Influence’ Is Really Only ‘Social Selection’ | Social Networks: The science behind them | Scoop.it
The whole concept of the social sharing in marketing is based on the idea that people respond better to suggestions from their friends, than...
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Why humans are so sociable these days

Why humans are so sociable these days | Social Networks: The science behind them | Scoop.it
Humans have evolved to become the most flexible of the primates and being able to live in lots of different social settings sets us apart from non-human primates, suggests new research.
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Lower classes quicker to show compassion in the face of suffering

Lower classes quicker to show compassion in the face of suffering | Social Networks: The science behind them | Scoop.it
(Medical Xpress) -- Emotional differences between the rich and poor, as depicted in such Charles Dickens classics as “A Christmas Carol” and “A Tale of Two Cities,” may have a scientific basis.
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Less knowledge, more power: Uninformed can be vital to democracy, study finds

Less knowledge, more power: Uninformed can be vital to democracy, study finds | Social Networks: The science behind them | Scoop.it
Uninformed individuals -- as in those with no prior knowledge or strong feelings on a situation's outcome -- can actually be vital to achieving a democratic consensus, according to new research.
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