Social networks are amazing from a “data mining” perspective. I’ve had a few posts about MyBlogLog recently, uncovering an easily exploitable flaw and announcing the Missing MyBlogLog Tools. As I’ve looked in depth into the MyBlogLog “network” that is accessible by the public, I’ve realized how much potential there is for doing so much more than what most social media companies do with their networks. A recent research paper (actual paper; thanks to here for blogging it) discusses this in detail, how social networks like MyBlogLog and MySpace create an opportunity for network-based marketing. It’s an interesting read for any entrepreneurs and social media marketing lovers out there.
MyBlogLog’s network is made up of specific reader communities, visitors, and member contacts. With the Missing MyBlogLog Tools I was able to determine, almost in real-time, users who are visiting the same blog. I have thought of other ways to use the network, that I don’t dare program or make available, such as tracking how often specific users come back to your blog, or how often they frequent other related blogs. Now combine this with a public profile, though hopefully most people share very little, and you’ve got yourself quite a number of marketing characteristics.
How about showing content based on their MyBlogLog communities and contacts? I think it could be determined, with a bit of programming work, when a new visitor arrives that is logged into MyBlogLog. You could show an article, ads, or whatever based on who they are as defined by their network in MyBlogLog. Cool, maybe scary, maybe both.
It will be interesting how social media operations actually capitalize on their own networks, as they are the ones with the real access to the data. All we get is what we can see, and often even public data is hard to get to reliably.
Your thoughts on mining data from social networks for marketing?