Social Media: Impact’s NOT Just About How Many Friends You Have

social-networking-icons.jpg A new study out of the City College of New York on how information (and infectious diseases) spread across networks suggests it’s not just about how many “friends” you have. Rather, as theTimes of India reports, it’s where someone is located in the network that counts.

It references Nature quoting Dr. Hernan Makse, who is leading the research, on the way being core affects one’s ability to pass the word along.

“If someone is in the core, they can spread information more efficiently. The challenge is finding the core,” he is quoted as saying.

Research showed that being at the periphery of a network led to less ability to spread, whereas being “near the core” made it “just as likely to spread information or infections as similarly situated nodes with more connections.”

That balances out some of the potential between smaller and larger players, to the extent that in the case of LiveJournal, someone with a thousand friends, the article says, could have less impact than someone with a hundred based on where each is located in the network.