Is it really necessary to understand the nature of network influence?

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September 26, 2013 | Posted in Social Media Engagement | By

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Image courtesy of: Linkedin – member, Geoff Hewko. Infograph. 25/09/13

If you don’t think understanding Network Influence is important, you may want to keep reading… It is how “we”, as human beings, have learned to survive.

Sounds dramatic, doesn’t it?  Well it should because it is as true now as it has ever  been.  For thousands of years human beings have inherently understood the importance of being linked to one another in a social capacity for the simplest of reasons… SURVIVAL!

Where did you find water?  How did you make that fire? Do you know know where I can get food?  Where is the enemy? 

In order to answers these life and death questions, we as human beings and more importantly, social creatures, have depended on our ability to develop social networks, stay connected  and help each other not only survive but thrive, establish position and create the world we have today.  The risk of not being connected to a social network put you on the short list for a character appearance with Darwin in his clever little book on Evolution.

Click forward a few thousand years and Network Influence is as important today as it has ever been.  Considerably more fine tuned and definitely further reaching.   The telegraph, phone and fax machine gave us a further reach to expanding our networks and therefor giving us a greater ability to influence one another.  Factor in Network effect and  Metcalfe’s Law illustrates the value of a network based on the ability to link the number of nodes/unique connections to establish it’s value.  This ability to connect grew by leaps and bounds but had its limitations.  (Metclafe)

Thanks to Berners-Lee and his clever little invention of the World Wide Web, we now have group forming networks made possible by Social Media Platforms, allowing for sub-groups to develop alongside of our immediate social networks.  This brings us to Reed’s Law which explodes Metcalfe’s Law exponentially.  Our connect-ability has never been easier.

The matters in which we knowingly or unknowingly influence our connections is staggering.  Our social circles are affected by all that we do and by all who we are connected to.  We live in a time where it is possible to actually see just how far reaching the Butterfly Effect is.



“Metcalfe’s Law.” Metcalfe’s Law. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2013.


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