Social Networks: The Question on Efficiency Remains

  • Harald RauEmail author
Part of the Media Business and Innovation book series (MEDIA)


It is quite easy to present and to analyze the number of possible connections and the growth of connectivity in social media—and with similar value or comparable quality of every single connection in a network, one can describe the total value or the growth of value parallel to the growing connectivity in a given timeframe. Following that: All the different models of explanation available (e.g., Reed, Metcalf) start with the growth of links in the network and they all use different rules and settings to describe the effect of this growth on network value. In the meantime we also realized, that the GFN-approach, introducing the group forming networks (brought into the discussion by Reed) is very helpful to have a closer look on everything happening (currently) in social media communication, also the existence of hubs and “super hubs” should be taken into account in this context, for these aspects give an explanation on exponentially growing value. Sadly—all the available blueprints—whether they are describing a linear or exponential curve of efficiency growth—are creating valid numbers, but they are static and inflexible if one additionally questions quality. One major task will now be, to (again) discuss quality from a teleological, normative or action based frame. It is crucial: To give an impression of social media value we today definitely could not only take connectivity into account, we have to reflect on diverging quality of possible connections and we will have to argue from an individualized point of view. In this concern one of the core questions would be: Could probably some of the theoretically driven rules of pre web era be transferred into or approached to social media? For the author future discussion will on the one hand lead back to the socio economic approaches, focusing preferences and individual decisions (consumption of media content, willingness of contribution, ‘collectivated’ dimension of wants or needs addressed by social media). One therefore has to judge, whether explainable or even measurable preferences are used to generate activity—for this question is of increasing relevance facing the rapidly growing influence of web based communication in society.


Social Network Social Media Media Content Mass Communication Public Broadcaster 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ostfalia University of Applied ScienceSalzgitterGermany

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