tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-1548640363798629393.post7402385753084586068..comments2023-10-03T05:56:23.885-04:00Comments on MediaFlect: The "Serendipity Value" of Networks: Beyond Metcalfe's LawDorian Benkoilhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05650491047267798757noreply@blogger.comBlogger1125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-1548640363798629393.post-56142119698172622262010-10-09T22:49:00.310-04:002010-10-09T22:49:00.310-04:00Dorian,
I agree with you. There certainly is a &...Dorian,<br /><br />I agree with you. There certainly is a "serendipity value," or perhaps "option value" to network connections, which you well articulate in a variety of contexts. For example, I've never communicated with you before, but Google search (a type of network connecting searchers to content) enabled me to identify you ("serendipitously", perhaps), and leaving a comment is a form of connectivity.<br /><br />However, I did address this in my original Business Communications Review article. I pointed out in the opening paragraphs that one could rigorously define the value of a connection, based on expected value and discounted cash flow.<br /><br />Such an approach doesn't change my conclusion, however. Consider playing roulette: while it is true that landing on any non-zero number MIGHT result in a payout of 35:1, the expected value of the payout from a one dollar bet is not a gain of $35, but rather a loss of roughly a nickel. The bottom line, literally, is that each potential outcome must be probability-adjusted to determine the expected value.<br /><br />Similarly, while the virtue of a ubiquitous network is that it enables you to connect with anyone on that network, and it is true that there is always an ex ante non-zero probability of that connection, that doesn't mean that you can or will connect with everyone in such a way that you will derive meaningful value (as opposed to, say, the ego / status value of knowing that you can so connect.)<br /><br />In the same way that you might count your chips at the end of the night to see how much you won or lost, an ex post valuation would show that, as I indicated, once networks get above a trivial size, only a few connections will have proven to have value, or that there will have been finite limits such as time or budget or bandwidth on consuming that value. This in turn leads to my result, namely that while the theoretical number of connections may be O(n*n), only a few will have non-zero, positive value, and thus the total value of the network may turn out to be only O(n).<br /><br />Joe WeinmanJoe Weinmanhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/06665755467009147881noreply@blogger.com