Homophily in social networks
This phenomenon is called Homophily (meaning love of the same) (McPherson et al. 2001).
To what extent are the people that you friend/follow on your own social networks similar to you? Are there exceptions, and do those exceptions contribute something of different value to your personal network compared to people who are similar to you?
Further readingA summary of De Choudhury’s article on homophily in Twitter is attached to this article. Optionally take some time to read the summary and understand how the research was undertaken. It’s a good example of how comparing statistics from different types of users can start to reveal how large social networks behave.
- Bischoff, K. (2012). We love rock “n” roll: analyzing and predicting friendship links in Last.fm. Presented at the WebSci ‘12: Proceedings of the 3rd Annual ACM Web Science Conference
- De Choudhury, M. (2011). Tie Formation on Twitter: Homophily and Structure of Egocentric Networks. SocialCom/PASSAT, 465–470.
- Huang, Y., Shen, C., Williams, D., & Contractor, N. (2009). Virtually There: Exploring Proximity and Homophily in a Virtual World. International Conference on Computational Science and Engineering, 4, 354–359.
- McPherson, M., Smith-Lovin, L., & Cook, J. M. (2001). Birds of a Feather: Homophily in Social Networks. Annual review of sociology, 27, 415–444.
- Mislove, A., Viswanath, B., Gummadi, K. P., & Druschel, P. (2010). You are who you know. Presented at the third ACM international conference, New York, New York, USA: ACM Press.
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