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Programming Social Applications by Jonathan LeBlanc

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The Group Model

The last model we’ll look at, the group model, is based upon the interactions and shared experiences of a group of like-minded individuals or people with similar interests, backgrounds, or situations. You can think of this much like hanging out with a group of friends—you have things in common that make you want to spend time together, sharing experiences and learning from one another. The same is true for the group model. You are interacting with a micrograph, a small portion of your entire social graph. There may be one or many groups in your graph, and some may overlap when there are people who bridge the gaps between multiple areas of interest.

Now let’s explore the simple and complex iterations of this type of graph.

Simple group model: User-defined groups

At a very basic level, you can establish the group model by simply providing predefined methods for users to manually add themselves (and others) to communication clusters such as groups, pages, or initiatives. The onus is on the user to define the group relationships and then manage those groups when relationships change.

If your entire service is built on such a model, clustering comes naturally. The problem here lies in segmenting a large relevant social graph into pieces when you want to offer a service that is not just focused on group relationships, but also on the individual, her profile, and close interactions with other users.

Example

There are many examples of this type of model, since allowing users to ...

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