Weak ties may just be weak

In this month’s edition of WIRED magazine (May 2011), writer Clive Thompson made a startling assertion.  Mark Granovetter’s “The Strength of Weak Ties” has been at the foundation of many different network theories since its publication in 1973.  But Thompson says that this may not be true.  Based on in-press research done by Sinan Aral and Marshall Van Alstyne, they find that even though a person who is dissimilar to you may have interesting things to say, the fact that you don’t interact with them very often (the weak tie) greatly reduces the probability of them actually telling you something interesting and instead the people you interact with very often (the strong ties) have a much higher likelihood of tell you something new.  This article is set to be published this summer.

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