The book Linked by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi simple aim is to get the reader to think network.
One of the interesting points of the book is the understanding that networks do not just exist in the realm of digital communications but are incorporated in the formation of international conglomerates, bacteria pandemics, terrorist organizations and cocktail parties. It becomes obvious through Barabasi’s examples that if anything interacts with any other thing, then there is a network.
There is no doubt that mathematicians, statisticians, nuclear scientist and sociologist would be able to discover something important to their work from this book. The book covers the growth of networking theory from the early Christian travels of Paul up to 2003 when the manuscript was first published.
As I am not involved in scientific research I have focused my attention on Barabasi’s insight into networking as it pertains to the opportunities in web design and structure of web sites. One of the earliest points that resonated with me was on page 31. There Barabasi states that “The strength of the web lies in its ability to string together individual documents into a huge network.”
Although most people involved in internet development these days should know this, I thought it was an interesting point coming from the observations of a physicist. Barabasi reiterates this point on page 57, where he states “That in order to be read you have to be visible.” As we all have learned that the more incoming links you have pointed to your website the more visible your website will be. If we think in terms of search bots, most websites with fewer than three back-linking documents are ignored. They simply do not exist.
Consider that six out of 10 pages are not visited by search engines; the likely hood of a page being index depends on its incoming links. Documents with only one incoming link will have only a 10% of chance of being indexed. Whereas documents with 20 or more links will have a 90% chance of being indexed.
The importance of inbound linking is not only important to being bot searched and indexed but it is also important in the reach of ideas of information.
Barabasi presents an example of the importance of cohesive networking on page 172. Here Barabasi includes the research of Lada Adamic of Stanford University. Adamic explored the effectiveness of an integrated network of sites that share common interest. The research compared the sites of Pro-Choice and Pro-Life websites. Adamic concluded that the sites of Pro-Life were more collectively inter-connected by a tightly built network of shared links. It is because of this network that Pro-Life advocates could operate more effectively than Pro-Choice groups. Adamic suggested that legislation directed toward Pro-Life causes would have a greater degree of success than the efforts of Pro-Choice. The strongest network would hold the advantage.
Since the writings of this book are now over ten years old, most of the theories of Barabasi are not new or earth shattering. I still think it is important to revisit the ideas. The book Linked reminds me of how interconnected we are and how if we maintain the importance of being connected our endeavor will be successful. It also sparked an idea for an experiment. My request, in order for you to participate in the grand experiment, is for you to create similar relevant content. Within the content of your post from a blog or website, incorporate a back-link to this post. Within the back-link have the anchor be: <a href=”http://wp.me/pYrnR-56″>The Importance of Networking.</a> Perhaps if done effectively the ideas of this post will not remained invisible.