They say the golden rule in Real Estate is: Location, Location, Location. Might this rule also hold in social networks? In real estate, location is determined by geography – your physical location. In social networks, location is determined by your connections and the connections of those around you – your virtual location.
Two social network measures, Betweenness and Closeness, are particularly revealing of a node’s advantageous or constrained location in a network. The values of both metrics are dependent upon the pattern of connections that a node is embedded in. Betweenness measures the control a node has over what flows in the network – how often is this node on the path between other nodes? Closeness measures how easily a node can access what is available via the network – how quickly can this node reach all others in the network? A combination where a node has easy access to others, while controlling the access of other nodes in the network, reveals high informal power.