Analyzing Social Networks for Fun and Profit

By Deane Barker on November 19, 2010

Mining social networks: Untangling the social web: This article discusses how companies are analyzing social networks to find out information about you that you may not know yourself.

The beginning of it is equal parts fascinating and freaky.

TELECOMS operators naturally prize mobile-phone subscribers who spend a lot, but some thriftier customers, it turns out, are actually more valuable. Known as “influencers”, these subscribers frequently persuade their friends, family and colleagues to follow them when they switch to a rival operator.

The trick, then, is to identify such trendsetting subscribers and keep them on board with special discounts and promotions. People at the top of the office or social pecking order often receive quick callbacks, do not worry about calling other people late at night and tend to get more calls at times when social events are most often organised, such as Friday afternoons. Influential customers also reveal their clout by making long calls, while the calls they receive are generally short.