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June 24, 2008


Michael Foulds

Dear Alan

I enjoyed the Xtract White Paper, which prompted a couple of thoughts.

First, the three-dimensional profiling approach offers means that even where demographic data is missing, we have enough through social connectivity and behaviour that we can infer key demographic data about members of the network, on the sociological principle of homophily (like attracts like). For example, where demographic information is missing, by examining the community structure around say known teens, we can infer key demographics of community members where data is missing.

Even more powerfully (to me), the behaviours of key individuals can help us to infer the likely behaviours and attitudes of others in their community. For example in some social network research I did on mobile users a few years back, we saw that in communities of connected people with MMS-capable phones, the active MMS users didn’t even bother sending MMS to certain users, who in turn never adopted. Of course those the active users did send MMS to were more likely to become users themselves. While it’s difficult to say which causes which, the view I lean to is that members of the community have a better understanding of the likely behaviours of their connected members, and in this case, decided not to bother sending MMS to those who were unlikely to reciprocate. For us as marketers, it was like being able to use the community as a kind of mirror to understand the attitudes and likely behaviours of consumers we couldn’t assess directly – even those who were ‘off-network’.


Custom Software Development

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Available for Consulting and Speakerships

  • Available for Consulting & Speaking
    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Helsinki but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

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Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009

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Alan's Third Book: No Straight Lines

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