IBM Knows How To Monetize Your Friends

IBM researcher Ching Yun Lin gave an interesting talk about the monetary value of having friends today at Web 2.0 Expo in New York. IBM is a gigantic company with thousands of people – mobile, global, and moving around. How do you find the right person to answer a unique question or problem? How does one unlock the power of existing social networks? Where within networks does knowledge actually reside?

I can’t hope to summarize the talk, injected with math and graphics and jargon as it was. But here’s the big takeaway: Your friends are worth money to your organization. Somehow, IBM scientists have not only determined that network size is positively correlated with performance, they also somehow know that every email in an address book is worth 948 dollars!

Researchers also found that stuctural diverse networks within which few people are connected are correlated with higher performance, and that having strong social links to managers also was positively correlated with performance. Some of the research information should be available here: http://smallblue.research.ibm.com

To me, this is really cool because I am an advocate of social networking as a positive influence on the workplace, even if such networking is not strictly work-related. IBM seems to have data that back up my more anecdotal and street-smart notions about this, which I’ve been speaking about lately under the guide of “Social Networking: The Two Dirtiest Words in Government 2.0” – and I will continue to do so!

Posted via email from Mark’s Cheeky Posterous

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This post was written by:

Mark Drapeau - who has written 165 posts on Dr. Mark Drapeau.


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2 Comments For This Post

  1. Howie Says:

    Your post is pretty ridiculous because it has no bearing on the general Facebook ecosystem. First off anyone on IBM’s ‘qualified’ email list is someone who is a potential customer. And since IBM does not sell to consumers any longer they are able to figure out if they have 275 emails from a major US corporation that might sign a contract or buy products worth millions that each address is worth 948. Every email for Coca Cola would not be worth 948 because I drink Coke and their products and maybe spend $100 to 150 per year. Secondly a Facebook Fan or Friend is not = to a personal email. And with 2/3’s of all Facebook Accounts frauds or inactive (92 million unique visitors in Aug vs 300 million accounts) and the fact you can pay companies like USocial for friends and fans by the 1,000’s to generate interest in your company or product we need to be realistic.

    So yes based on what I laid out for a company like IBM for each qualified email easily could be worth 948. But if Joe Smith who works at 7-11 but has always liked big Blue friends them on Facebook..it is worth 0.

  2. Mark Drapeau Says:

    Howie: No idea what you’re talking about. This was an internal IBM research study; it had nothing to do with Facebook.

8 Trackbacks For This Post

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  2. uberVU - social comments Says:

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mainboardernews: FSecure: IBM Knows How To Monetize Your Friends http://su.pr/2J631y Every email in an address book is worth 948 dollars!?…

  3. IBM Knows How To Monetize Your Friends « Managing in Information-Intensive Companies Says:

    [...] IBM has come up with a figure and that is $948. IBM researcher Ching Yun Lin, at the Web 2.0 Expo in NY gave an interesting talk about the monetary value of having friends today. Somehow IBM scientists have not only determined that network size is positively correlated with performance, they also claim that every email in an address book is worth 948 dollars.Researchers also found that structurally diverse networks within which few people are connected are correlated with higher performance and that having social links to managers also was positively correlated with performance. More here. [...]

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  6. Wednesday Web Resources: Cortera, Mind Maps, and IBM’s Social-Media Research | Entrepreneursbuzz Says:

    [...] being in the loop is worth it. Thanks to Dr. Mark Drapeau of the blog Cheeky Fresh, whose entry “IBM Knows How To Monetize Your Friends” brought this one to my [...]

  7. IBM: How To Monetize Your Social Network & Why Every Email is worth 948 dollars! | I Heart Tech Docs, Ivan Walsh, Technical Writer Says:

    [...] Mark reports here that IBM researcher Ching Yun Lin gave an interesting talk about the monetary value of having friends at Web 2.0 Expo in New York. [...]

  8. Online Small Business » Wednesday Web Resources: Cortera, Mind Maps, and IBM’s Social-Media Research Says:

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