10. Juni 2009

Social Networks - was ist eine Freundschaft wert?

"What's a friend worth?" - das ist die Cover Story der BusinessWeek vom 1. Juni 2009 (die Online Version weicht leicht von der gedruckten Ausgabe ab). Der Autor Stephen Baker geht der Frage nach, wie sich die Beziehungen in Social Networks kommerziell, z.B. für die Werbung, nutzen lassen:
"A question: If you have 347 followers on the Twitter microblogging service, what are the chances that they'll click on the same online ad you clicked on last night? Advertisers are dying to know."
Die Begriffe wie 'Freundschaften' oder 'Freunde' verändern sich in Social Networks, sie entstehen ganz einfach per Klick:
"Friendships aren't what they used to be. [...]
What do these relationships say about us and the people in our networks?"
Da wir von Informationen überflutet werden, ist die Aufmerksamkeit (attention) eine zentrale und äusserst knappe Ressource. Aber wie adressiert sie man möglichst zielgenau? Indem man die Beziehungen in Social Networks, also die Beziehungen zu Freunden, analysiert.
"The easiest way is to get tips from friends. They're our trusted sources. At least a few of them know us better than any algorithm ever could. Little surprise, then, that the companies most eager to command our attention are studying which friends we listen to. Online friendship is a hot focus for Facebook, Google, and Yahoo. They joust to hire leading sociologists, anthropologists, and microeconomists from MIT, Harvard, and Berkeley. Microsoft just established a research division focused on social sciences in Cambridge, Mass. [...]

But it raised lots of questions. Which types of friends have the most meaningful correlations with each other? [...]

By studying patterns of interactions on networks—often scrutinizing us only as anonymous bits of data—researchers are working to predict which friends we trust and which we pay attention to in each area of our lives. The data can be hard to interpret, says danah boyd, a Berkeley PhD who just signed on at Microsoft Research. "
Und offensichtlich funktioniert dies grundsätzlich:
"Tailoring offers based on friends' responses helped lift the average click rate from 0.9% to 2.7%. Although 97.3% of the people surfed past the ads, the click rate still tripled. "
Wer also Freundschaften pflegen will, ohne dass diese systematisch analysiert und kommerziell ausgebeutet werden, muss wohl oder übel auf Social Networks verzichten:
"All of networked humanity mingles in this vast marketplace, trading information, creating alliances, doing favors. We may not think of our connections in such mercantile terms. But for business and individuals alike, the value in online friendship is poised to grow."

Keine Kommentare: