I started thinking about it as a connection graph. While a social graph builds social connections and influence, a connection graph is both more generic and more specific. Here are some examples.
- I am connected to over 400+ friends on Facebook. Yet I interact with only a small subset socially and even a smaller subset for recommendations (both giving and taking). The recommendation relationship is a bit asymmetric. While I give advice on startups, I take advice about almost everything else.
- On Twitter, I follow over 3000 people and a similar count follows me back. However, my daily reading list is a small subset of these people and the ones I refer and recommend (through retweets) are even a smaller subset.
- This pattern repeats – in my mail contacts, blogs and even phone list
All these different networks overlap. Some are social and some are professional. Some are more permanent whereas others exhibit some time sensitivity (temporal). Two examples of transient temporal networks are:
- problem related – support, payment
- project related – proposals, working on projects and events
So here is the challenge. How do you keep all these connection graphs in sync? How do you make sure that when you want to communicate something, it goes to the right people without spamming all the others?