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December 03, 2009


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Barbara French

This is a valuable series of posts, Don. Your survey reveals interesting insights into the connections between social media and peer influence among business professionals.

I'm curious, was the study able to quantify the social media acceleration of peer influence cycles? Or did it surface anecdotal information related to speeding up or otherwise shortening influence cycles?

Don Bulmer

Hi Barbara:

Thank you for your comment and support of the research!

We did not design the survey (this go around) to quantify how social media specifcally accelorates decision cycles. We first wanted to understand how decision makers use and depend on social networks (today) to support decisions (online and offline) and to assess the core value(s) and benefits of social networks to the decision process.

When we repeat the study in 2010 we will certainly be able to explore how social networks help to accelorate/streamline decision making cycles/process. My guess is that it will be a significant finding given how online networks (social media peer groups) are becoming increasingly rich with content, specialized and accessible to experts at all levels.

One interesting finding from the study was the significant increase in trust from information obtained through online networks over the last 1-3 years - as compared to information gained from offline networks. The trust in information from online networks have increased ('somewhat' to 'significantly') by 83% in the past 1-3 years vs 71% for offline-networks ('somewhat' to 'significantly'). This corloates well to other findings that also show significant relianace on networks over the same period.

The next study will be very interesting indeed!


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