Monday, September 3, 2007

Do you send email to people in your social network?

From Riding the social networks wave. It basically says that Microsoft and Yahoo are sitting on a goldmine of social networking data because it has a record of who you have sent email. Is this true?

Yahoo executives there were saying that Yahoo Mail and Hotmail both have the rudiments of a profound social network. Each has hundreds of millions of members, and each company has access to information that could be used to construct the kindof "social graph" of friend relationships which is at the heart of MySpace or Facebook. That key data is in each e-mail user's sent mail records. The people you send e-mail to are pretty much the people you know. That's one reason why both MySpace and Facebook allow you to mine your e-mail contact lists to create additional friends in their services. But the sent mail information is even richer with friendship insight than any contact list.

I almost never exchange email with my closest social network--the people who matter most. When I've looked at importing people into Facebook or Twitter from my Gmail account I find almost no one that I would invite to join my network. Seriously it's one or two people at most. So my question, is there really that much to be learned from sent emails? I'm thinking not.


John Dorner said...

There you go again... assuming the rest of the world works like you do ;)

Most people who are not using social networking tools are using e-mail as their only networking tool. So, if their goal is to get new people into social networking, this would be a great place to start.

Kevin Gamble said...

I like to think of myself as the canary in the mine. :)


John Dorner said...

You are definitely the canary in my mine! It seems like every time I've doubted your predictions, I've eventually come over to your side.

THANKS for being my canary!