Monday, 25 June 2012

The power of network science, the beauty of network visualization

Albert-László Barabási started publishing a new network research book online. According to the author, this book aims to help anybody to understand the fundamental concepts of network research, so it presents many colorful and interesting real life examples, including the results of a research by Maven7The book is the result of a collaboration between a number of individuals, shaping everything, from content (Laszlo Barabasi) to visualizations and interactivetools (Mauro Martino), simulations and data analysis (Márton Pósfai).

You can download from the official website the first two chapters with slides and you may follow the development of the writing of the book on Facebook and Twitter.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Social Media and the power of networks 1. – The Hungarian blog scene

Because of the spreading of Social Media usage the modern marketing agencies age are just gazing. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Pinterest, Google+, hundreds of blogs and so on without end. It is impossible to follow so many sites up-to-date. Also, it is not enough to only eximes these sites seperately, because the essence of the content generated by the users is the network effect, which causes the fast information spread. What can we do then? In our series, where we collected some of the latest network research results by Maven 7, we show how these findings can facilitate the on-line marketing specialists’, the PR specialists’ and product managerers’ lives.

We may trace back the beginning of Social Media to the blogs.  These contents are not the ordinary Social Media model, as we understand it today, but here the contents are already generated by users, as a major attribute of web2.0. The largest benefit of blogging is that anybody can write anything in a topic, and so the number of topics is practically endless. In 2006, the early times of Hungarian blogging, it was yet easy to keep count of bloggers. Then, thanks to its easy use, it rapidly started to increase.
But why are blogs so important for us after all? Considering that already more than ten thousand blogs exist and their reading blooms, a company needs to know who the Key Opinion Leaders are within the blog space, who have impact on their consumers. Network research provides help exactly in this. With the help of our unique methodology we can show who are the Key OpinionLeader is of a given topic, and we also can forecast who are the Rising Stars of the next generation.

Our research identified the Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) of IT related blogs within a Hungarian blog service provider.  According to the network approach we presume that readers of same blogs are interested in the same topics. So by examining the group of users and visitors, the most important characters of the topic can be identified. The importance of a blog not only depends on the number of visitors and clicks, but also that what kind of other blogs the same user reads at the same time. It is more expensive to advertise on a Key Opinion Leader blog (green node), than on an other blog, which is connected to it (red node). With our method anybody can identify new, relevant and not „used up” opinion leaders, and may also validate previous campaigns.

It is also an important question, which other topics are related to our professional field. For example, how much overlap is there between the community of IT blogs and the community of game blogs? The following picture shows how the IT community is connected to other blogs. The bigger the nodes are the more connection a given topic has to other topics.

Beyond the identification of blogs’ KOLs and Rising Stars we can identify KOLs of a specific topic within the whole Hungarian online space by using other sources from the Social Media, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn...

To be continued....

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Mapping intracellular protein networks will help us discover cures

How the genes, the proteins and the metabolise link to each other forming a consistent network? This network is really the key to understand our human diseases.
Albert-László Barabási says we need a new medicine, its name is „network medicine”. It can help us understand the mechanism of diseases and would affect all aspects of health care.

By helping to map intracellular protein interactions, Albert-Lászlo Barabási hopes to trace disease tracks so better treatments can be devised.

The full lecture with Albert-László Barabási is on view on: