For many, Social Networks begin and end with Social Media, but network analysis is about much more than tweeting. As the tools improve, Social Network Analysis will become as important to marketing as target group analysis was a generation ago.
Understanding networks will help us bring order to the complexity and chaos in the world around us. From how information spreads to managing sales and finding the information we need, networks can help us run our businesses better.
Fortunately, all you really need to know about networks, social or otherwise, you can learn on your next airline flight.
The Importance of Hubs
On your next trip, once you have paid strict attention to the safety procedures, take a look at the airline magazine in the seat pocket in front of you. If you open it to the back, you will find a map of showing all the airports your airline flies to with paths between them designating routes.
If you take some time and start counting, you will see a pattern develop. The biggest airport will have roughly twice as many routes leading to it as the second biggest airport, three times as many as the third biggest airport and so on. The bigger the airline you are flying on, the closer these proportions will hold.
Mathematicians call this proportional scaling.