3.10 The power of social networks: introduction

    43

    “The free access to a worldwide market of hundreds of millions of people turns the Internet into a liquidity machine.”
    Chris Anderson in Free (2009).

    Millions of people are connected through social networks. These are formal networks that require a kind of membership, but are also specialized networks. This is being researched on an ongoing basis, which has led to information and theories on network behavior. Obviously, we want to use these networks as effectively as possible. So, we collect their data, the meta and big data. It resembles the search for the Holy Grail: we are looking for something that we cannot yet always define. Data and experiences are hunted out of economic and personal interest. The question remains of what we want to know about this reasonably unpredictable (swarming) dynamic, and whether this knowledge is uniformly applicable. The fact is that there is steadily more insight into ways to develop maximum force from social networks, or rather, out of social networks. I consider myself an above average active network user, and thus draw from my own experience when it comes to the effective use of social networks. In my opinion, this is not just about relational intensity, but also about connective density, strategic construction, relevance, and trust.

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