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Critical Success Factors of A Social Network

Critical Success Factors of A Social Network

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Published by Alan Belniak
Successful and unsuccessful social networks were examined and analyzed for common themes. From that, a framework was created by the author to aid in determining the critical components of a social network.
Successful and unsuccessful social networks were examined and analyzed for common themes. From that, a framework was created by the author to aid in determining the critical components of a social network.

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Published by: Alan Belniak on Dec 20, 2010
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11/22/2012

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What
 
Are
 
the
 
Critical
 
Success
 
Factors
 
of 
 
A
 
Social
 
Network?
 
I’ll
 
Tell
 
You
 
Over
 
a
 
Beer
 
 
Alan
 
Belniak
 
Babson
 
College
MOB
 
7580
 
Spring
 
2009
 
Professor
 
Marty
 
Anderson
 
2009.04.24
 
Alan
 
Belniak
 
Page
 
i
 
MOB
 
7580
 
Spring
 
2009
 
Table
 
of
 
Contents
 
Introduction
 
............................................................................................................................................................................
 
1
 
Project
 
Description:
 
What
 
Comprises
 
an
 
Effective
 
Social
 
Network?
 
..................................................................................
 
1
 
Application:
 
Putting
 
the
 
Theory
 
to
 
the
 
Test
 
........................................................................................................................
 
1
 
Setting
 
the
 
Record
 
Straight:
 
What
 
Is
 
a
 
Social
 
Network,
 
and
 
What
 
Does
 
it
 
Mean
 
to
 
Belong
 
to
 
One?
 
....................................
 
1
 
Examples
 
.............................................................................................................................................................................
 
2
 
Elements
 
that
 
Loosely
 
Define
 
‘Membership’
 
......................................................................................................................
 
2
 
Success!
 
Social
 
Networking
 
Sites
 
That
 
Work
 
.........................................................................................................................
 
2
 
Table
 
1:
 
Case
 
Study
 
Summary
 
of 
 
Successful
 
Social
 
Networks
 
........................................................................................
 
3
 
iBMWr.org
 
...........................................................................................................................................................................
 
5
 
Paddling.net
 
........................................................................................................................................................................
 
5
 
Fail!
 
Defunct
 
Social
 
Networking
 
Sites
 
(for
 
various
 
reasons)
 
...................................................................................................
 
5
 
Bolt.com
 
..............................................................................................................................................................................
 
6
 
Capazoo.com
 
.......................................................................................................................................................................
 
6
 
Table
 
2:
 
Case
 
Study
 
Summary
 
of 
 
Defunct
 
Social
 
Networks
 
............................................................................................
 
7
 
Yahoo!
 
360°
 
.......................................................................................................................................................................
 
10
 
Yahoo!
 
Kickstart
 
................................................................................................................................................................
 
10
 
Yahoo!
 
Mash
 
.....................................................................................................................................................................
 
10
 
Macro
Level
 
Lessons
 
Learned:
 
What
 
To
 
Do
 
and
 
Not
 
to
 
Do
 
When
 
Creating
 
a
 
Social
 
Network
 
.............................................
 
11
 
Do
 
......................................................................................................................................................................................
 
11
 
Do
 
Not
 
Do
 
..........................................................................................................................................................................
 
12
 
Theory
 
and
 
Application:
 
An
 
Assessment
 
of 
 
a
 
Social
 
Network
 
Using
 
the
 
Framework
 
...........................................................
 
12
 
BeerAdvocate
 
Description
 
................................................................................................................................................
 
12
 
BeerAdvocate.com
 
Components
 
......................................................................................................................................
 
13
 
Establishment
 
of 
 
The
 
Network
 
..........................................................................................................................................
 
14
 
Analysis
 
and
 
Evaluation
 
.....................................................................................................................................................
 
15
 
BeerAdvocate
 
Ecosystem
 
..................................................................................................................................................
 
16
 
Conclusion
 
.............................................................................................................................................................................
 
17
 
Appendices
 
............................................................................................................................................................................
 
18
 
Appendix
 
A:
 
Screen
 
Capture
 
of 
 
iBMWr.org
 
 –
 
March
 
2009
 
...............................................................................................
 
19
 
Appendix
 
B:
 
Screen
 
Capture
 
of 
 
Paddling.net
 
 –
 
March
 
2009
 
.............................................................................................
 
20
 
Appendix
 
C:
 
Screen
 
Capture
 
of 
 
Bolt.com
 
..........................................................................................................................
 
21
 
Appendix
 
D:
 
Screen
 
Capture
 
of 
 
Capazoo.com
 
..................................................................................................................
 
22
 
Appendix
 
E:
 
Screen
 
Capture
 
of 
 
Yahoo!
 
360°
 
.....................................................................................................................
 
23
 
Appendix
 
F:
 
Screen
 
Capture
 
of 
 
Yahoo!
 
Kickstart
 
..............................................................................................................
 
24
 
Appendix
 
G:
 
Screen
 
Capture
 
of 
 
Yahoo!
 
Mash
 
...................................................................................................................
 
25
 
Appendix
 
H:
 
Screen
 
Capture
 
of 
 
BeerAdvocate
 
(March
 
2009)
 
..........................................................................................
 
26
 
Appendix
 
I:
 
BeerAdvocate.com
 
Site
 
Traffic
 
.......................................................................................................................
 
27
 
Appendix
 
J:
 
Sites
 
That
 
Link
 
to
 
BeerAdvocate.com
 
............................................................................................................
 
28
 
 
Alan
 
Belniak
 
Page
 
ii
 
MOB
 
7580
 
Spring
 
2009
 
Executive
 
Summary
 
A
 
review
 
of 
 
select
 
social
 
networks
 
that
 
are
 
effective
 
and
 
those
 
that
 
are
 
defunct
 
permitted
 
a
 
distillation
 
of 
 
macro
level
 
lessons
 
for
 
other
 
social
 
networks.
 
Codifying
 
these
 
lessons
 
into
 
an
 
effective
 
practices
 
and
 
potential
 
inhibitors
 
list
 
creates
 
a
 
framework
 
that
 
other
 
future
 
social
 
networks
 
can
 
consider
 
during
 
the
 
construction
 
phase.
 
That
 
framework,
 
as
 
well
 
as
 
subject
 
matter
 
expertise
 
from
 
the
 
author,
 
was
 
applied
 
to
 
the
 
 
social
 
network
 
to
 
determine
 
its
 
“social
 
network
 
effectiveness”.
 
The
 
result
 
of 
 
the
 
evaluation
 
indicates
 
that
 
BeerAdvocate
 
is
 
indeed
 
a
 
successful
 
social
 
network;
 
it
 
follows
 
many
 
of 
 
the
 
suggested
 
practices
 
and
 
avoids
 
many
 
of 
 
the
 
potential
 
inhibitors.
 
To
 
extend
 
the
 
discussion
 
of 
 
the
 
“network”
 
concept,
 
BeerAdvocate’s
 
current
 
ecosystem
 
partners
 
are
 
listed,
 
suggesting
 
that
 
 joint
 
value
 
is
 
created
 
when
 
the
 
positive
 
network
 
is
 
broad
 
and
 
deep.
 
Furthermore,
 
a
 
suggestion
 
of 
 
other
 
ecosystem
 
 participants
 
is
 
listed.
 
It
 
is
 
noted
 
that
 
not
 
all
 
of 
 
these
 
participants
 
are
 
true
 
partners,
 
since
 
 joint
 
value
 
creation
 
would
 
not
 
result
 
from
 
the
 
introductions
 
of 
 
some
 
of 
 
these
 
participants.
 
However,
 
many
 
of 
 
the
 
suggested
 
participants
 
listed
 
would
 
indeed
 
further
 
the
 
depth
 
and
 
breadth
 
of 
 
the
 
BeerAdvocate
 
network
 
(since
 
many
 
listed
 
are
 
positive),
 
resulting
 
in
 
 joint
value
 
creation.
 
Below
 
is
 
an
 
abbreviated
 
list
 
of 
 
suggested
 
practices
 
(“Do”);
 
the
 
full
 
list
 
is
 
presented
 
 
in
 
this
 
report.
 
To
 
see
 
the
 
essence
 
of 
 
this
 
without
 
reading
 
all
 
of 
 
the
 
text,
 
skip
 
to
 
the
 
 
of 
 
the
 
executive
 
summary.
 
 
Know
 
the
 
audience
 
(not
 
 just
 
who
 
they
 
are,
 
but
 
what
 
drives
 
them)
 
 
Set
 
definitive
 
and
 
actionable
 
goals
 
for
 
the
 
creation
 
of 
 
this
 
network
 
 
Understand
 
the
 
true
 
value
 
that
 
“being
 
social”
 
will
 
bring
 
to
 
the
 
table
 
 
Find
 
one
 
or
 
two
 
core
 
attributes,
 
embellish
 
that,
 
and
 
then
 
create
 
additional
 
content
 
around
 
it
 
 
Provide
 
some
 
“standard
 
community”
 
options,
 
only 
 
if 
 
they
 
fit;
 
understand,
 
 from
 
the
 
users
,
 
the
 
types
 
of 
 
content
 
to
 
offer
 
(blogs,
 
forums,
 
etc.)…
 
and
 
offer
 
those
 
 
Make
 
it
 
easy
 
to
 
 join
 
and
 
easy
 
to
 
leave;
 
do
 
not
 
coerce
 
or
 
make
 
it
 
otherwise
 
arduous
 
 
Make
 
the
 
terms
 
of 
 
service
 
(“ToS”)
 
as
 
transparent 
 
as
 
 possible
 
 
Permit
 
an
 
easy
 
way
 
to
 
offer
 
feedback,
 
and
 
respond
 
to
 
it
 
quickly,
 
if 
 
not
 
immediately
 
 
a
 
 
Provide
 
an
 
education
 
section
 
to
 
acclimate
 
new
 
users
 
on
 
terminology
 
and
 
the
 
local
 
mores
 
of 
 
the
 
network
 
 
Pre
seed
 
with
 
rich
 
content
 
to
 
start,
 
and
 
permit
 
(and
 
encourage!)
 
user
generated
 
content
 
 
Provide
 
(and
 
permit
 
the
 
users
 
to
 
provide)
 
implicit
 
or
 
explicit
 
links
 
to
 
others
 
in
 
the
 
ecosystem
 
 
Make
 
promotion
 
of 
 
the
 
network
 
easy
 
 
Find
 
out
 
what
 
works,
 
and
 
copy
 
it,
 
or
 
simply
 
support
 
it
 
 
Link
 
to
 
other
 
larger
 
social
 
networking
 
platforms
 
(e.g.,
 
Facebook,
 
Twitter)
 
to
 
aggregate
 
and
 
link
 
to
 
create
 
cross
site
 
traffic
 
Similarly,
 
an
 
abbreviated
 
list
 
of 
 
social
 
network
 
success
 
inhibitors
 
(“Do
 
Not
 
Do”)
 
is
 
presented
 
below;
 
the
 
full
 
list
 
is
 
also
 
presented
 
 
in
 
this
 
report.
 
If 
 
you
 
want
 
to
 
see
 
the
 
essence
 
of 
 
this
 
without
 
reading
 
all
 
of 
 
the
 
text,
 
skip
 
to
 
the
 
 
of 
 
the
 
executive
 
summary.
 
 
Set
 
age
 
restrictions
 
when
 
none
 
are
 
really
 
needed
 
 
Fill
 
the
 
site
 
with
 
needless
 
advertising,
 
or
 
where
 
advertising
 
is
 
nonsensical
 
 
Restrict
 
too
 
heavily
 
what
 
users
 
can
 
and
 
cannot
 
do
 
(or
 
solely
 
let
 
the
 
users
 
set
 
the
 
norms)
 
 
Be
 
simply
 
a
 
copycat
 
to
 
other
 
sites
 
or
 
networks;
 
a
 
differentiator
 
is
 
needed
 
to
 
establish
 
value
 
 
Make
 
the
 
 joining
 
process
 
lengthy,
 
complicated,
 
and
 
burdensome
 
 
Rely
 
on
 
sophisticated
 
web
 
technologies
 
to
 
serve
 
up
 
the
 
pages
 
(e.g.,
 
Flash)
 
 
Reinvent
 
site
 
and
 
change
 
focus,
 
yet
 
expect
 
veteran
 
users
 
to
 
remain
 
members
 
 
Rely
 
too
 
heavily
 
on
 
a
 
“build
 
it
 
and
 
they
 
will
 
come”
 
mentality;
 
do
 
not 
 
expect 
 
the
 
first
 
iteration
 
to
 
be
 
the
 
last
 
 
Host
 
or
 
permit
 
illegal
 
file
 
sharing
 

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