Digital Insights

Part V: Social Intelligence – Affinity Segments the Social Graph


Published: July 2, 2012

The DigitalEYE Media team is wrapping up our five-part series on Social Intelligence with a look at the “Social Graph” at Facebook’s core.

The Social Graph is simply people and the connections they have to everything they care about.  The Social Graph is NOT a count of every individual in the crowd.  It can be represented in a map showing who is connected to whom.  A diagram can graphically illustrate a Social Graph system as a spider-web network of interrelationships among two or more people indicated by numerous distinctive, dots and lines that connect otherwise separate nodes.

Social Intelligence gathering benefits from the existence of the Social Graph because the graph is also a database of online user information present in conveniently accessible repositories like social network member profiles.  Marketers can use this hierarchical mapped database system to help identify searchable terms associated with data nodes.

Algorithms in the social data tools make it possible to do detailed search and analysis across the vast consumer Social Graph.

Social Graph mapping processes millions of records in parallel to:

Produce advanced social data clusters

Reveal consumer linkages within social networks

Rank consumers by type of social connections

Colligent, Inc., Redmond, Wash., is a social network data collection, research and analysis company that created a massive database by harvesting information from publicly available records of people belonging to the social networks.

Sree Nagarajan is Colligent’s founder and CEO.  He sees the Social Graph as being refined by the emergence the “Affinity Graph,” which he calls “orthogonal” to the Social Graph.

According to Nagarajan, every brand has 500,000 fans, and these fans’ friends’ graphs (people connected to a brand’s fans) typically exceed 100 million-plus.

“This means pretty much everyone in the country can be reached by most brand fans’ Social Graph,” said Nagarajan.

“This makes the need for segmenting the Social Graph very necessary.  Affinity is one of the best ways to do this segmentation.”

Part I: Social Intelligence—BI Meets Social Media Data

Part II: Social Intelligence—Gathering Social Media Data

Part III: Social Intelligence Drives the Shaping of Online Content

Part IV: Social Intelligence—Content Curation a Key Filter

  1. Keith Myer says:

    This looks like awesome work. The article is very good and educational.

    I can’t read the graph though – it’s low res so when you enlarge it, it’s just blurry. If you guys could post a higher res one – or let me know if there’s one here already and I’m just not seeing it! – that would be much appreciated!

    • admin says:

      Provide us with your email address, Keith, and we’ll send you a JPEG. Thanks for commenting and we hope that helps.