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Social network paper

A social network caught in the Web

Abstract: We present an analysis of Club Nexus, an online community at Stanford University. Through the Nexus site we were able to study a reflection of the real world community structure within the student body. We observed and measured social network phenomena such as the small world effect, clustering, and the strength of weak ties. Using the rich profile data provided by the users we were able to deduce the attributes contributing to the formation of friendships, and to determine how the similarity of users decays as the distance between them in the network increases. In addition, we found correlations between users' personalities and their other attributes, as well as interesting correspondences between how users perceive themselves and how they are perceived by others.

Club Nexus sounds similar to the Ryze community, where similar SNA activities have taught similar lessons. The types of connections among people are different, since the source of the connection is their common membership in the Standford community, and they likely know one another in Real Life.

The other aspect of the study is that they delved into the self-selected personality traits. From the SNA perspective, they studied whether people with similar personality traits tended to flock together. Not surprisingly, they found this to be the case. People who read science fiction preferentially "befriend" others who also read science fiction.


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