I’ve referenced three fundamental terms and associated concepts in the discussion of social business and the application of social technology to business. Social objects, covered in the prior chapter, range from small pieces of content—for example, photos or tweets—to larger things such as passions, lifestyles, and causes around which people will collect and form communities. Social applications—the tools that extend the general functionality of a social platform—were also mentioned briefly and will be covered in detail in the next chapter.
The third of the fundamental terms, social graph, is the subject of this chapter. The term itself is nearly synonymous with a related term—social network. In general discussion, the two are essentially interchangeable, and you may hear strong opinions and preferences for one over the other. So, a minute spent sorting this out is worthwhile.
The term social graph is rooted in the quantitative analysis of networks: It’s the kind of term a mathematician or sociologist might use. The more general term is “social network”; so to avoid the tech babble that is often the cause of avoidable confusion when talking about social media, you can generally use “social network” instead of social graph and everyone will know what you mean.
The difference to be aware of is this: In conversation, “social network” generally refers to something like Facebook—the software, the apps, the people, and the connections…all of it. By comparison, the term “social graph” refers specifically to the people who are members of a particular network (or graph) as well as how those members within that network are connected:
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The term “social graph” makes more explicit the fact that you are concerned with the details of the connections and relationships that make up a social network.Visit The Site: 123Movies