URLs of wisdom (10th May)

URLs of wisdom is a weekly round-up of interesting links about topics at the intersection of people, science and technology.

Network Effects

  • Complexity in social networks – Really good read about how 4 different features of the structure of networks affects the user experience. “One way to think about these technology platforms is to think of any complex network as having four fundamental components:
    • Nodes (the objects in the graph, e.g., people, things)
    • Data/content (the thing being shared between the nodes, e.g., tweet)
    • Edges with rules (e.g., bidirectional “friend”, single-directional “follow”)
    • Jumping functions, specifically ways to transmit the data/content from one subgroup of people to another on the same platform, usually based on rules surrounding how the edges are structured (e.g., retweeting / liking / favoriting).”
  • Combatting the rich get richer effect? A bot for tweets that get overlooked.


  • We need online alter egos now more than ever “The key to making pseudonymous participation productive is to inspire people to care about the impression they are making on others. In physical environments, the body anchors identity; online, one’s history of contributions and interactions functions as one’s “body”, but it can be difficult to see.”  

“Face to face, we develop relationships in separate contexts — and the things we talk about, the jokes we make, the secrets we reveal – vary tremendously . You may share, say, your feelings about the difficulties of caring for an aging, fading parent or a special needs child with others in the same situation; you may find things funny in the company of old friends that you would never admit to thinking humorous in front of your family. You present yourself differently to your neighbor, lawyer, teacher, children, grandmother — you use different words and talk about different things. This is not a lack of integrity, but a feature of being an adaptable person in multiple social contexts, understanding the varied mores of the different situations. Pseudonyms allow us to maintain such separate contexts online.”

“negative feedback leads to significant behavioral changes that are detrimental to the community. Not only do authors of negatively-evaluated content contribute more, but also their future posts are of lower quality, and are perceived by the community as such. Moreover, these authors are more likely to subsequently evaluate their fellow users negatively, percolating these effects through the community. In contrast, positive feedback does not carry similar effects, and neither encourages rewarded authors to write more, nor improves the quality of their posts. Interestingly, the authors that receive no feedback are most likely to leave a community.”

  • For the love of being liked – on attention-seeking on social media “While getting lots of likes or retweets feels great, the feeling of rejection from not getting them is often greater. People’s fear of being excluded is so intense…”


Web/Social media developments

Just for fun

What to call that event…?



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