I gave this presentation a full 30 undistracted minutes this morning. It was 30 minutes very well spent. Paul Adams, who spends much of his time at Google looking at how social networks actually work, has put together 220 or so slides that walk you by the hand through some of his most important findings. He has also, kindly, taken the time to fully annotate the slides with explanatory text. He explores the differences between how our networks work offline, and how this contrasts with the often counter-intuitive behaviours that are imposed on us by the design and functionality of online networks. Paul describes himself as a "Design Strategist" and so the presentation applies the networking insights to generate recommendations for designing for real-world networks. Illuminating stuff that has helpfully moved my thinking on for a couple of live client projects.
His blog looks pretty interesting too.