Posting Volume And Loyalty As Factors In Social Networking’s Hub And Spoke Distribution Model

October 27, 2007

We outlined some of our thinking about the similarities and differences of real estate video as currency in a content distribution network vs. ideas as currency in a social network. So, does the application of concepts such as consent, likelihood, and reputation within the “retransmission and return” model of hubs and spokes deal well with the issue of frequent posting (which we’ll uniformly call “high volume distribution” )?

The Impact of High Volume On Social Networking: If we agree with tenents of MarketingProfs about posting frequency, then consent and likelihood to accept or pass on the message will be negatively impacted once the posting frequency crossed some critical threshold. My interpretation of his ideas using our hub and spoke model is that there is a subset of social networks within which the quality of any given hub has a return value measured in loyalty rather than sheer propagation.  Loyalty then can be defined as a measure of aggregate consent and likelihood for a given hub to revisit or subscribe to the source hub. Interestingly, this means that these types of social networks actually have a model very much like a content distribution network. In these loyalty based networks, loyalty is measured more by the quality of first and second order hubs than any dependency on mass retransmission of ideas to more distant hubs. 

So, how does high volume change the quality of the loyalty based model? Again interpreting writings by MarketingProfs, Joel Burslem, and even Scoble,  a given hub’s consent lowers as noise grows, reader fatigue sets in, writing quality diminishes, and opportunity costs grow higher to spend time with the same writer.  Each of these factors dilutes the value of the currency (ideas) and therefore lowers the willingness of the hub to return value to the source (return as measured in loyalty or revisits/subscriptions). 

The Impact Of High Volume on Content Distribution: We’ve already established in prior articles that specialized content networks such as for property videos have a low affinity for re-transmission but a high return as measured in leads.   Does this change when content distribution hubs are receiving a high volume of content?  My thinking is “no” and that a high volume of content that meet a given distribution hub’s specific criteria actually increase return (as measured in loyalty) which in turn may have a positive impact on leads generated to the source hub.

Why the difference? Rich media content can distributed to first order distribution hubs where not only specific criteria can be applied to raise the mix of interested visitors but also can be regularly consumed without having to visit the source hub. This filtering ability on the first order hub distributes the impact of volume through use of criteria based distribution. An unfiltered approach with high volume would likely create a series of hubs with effects that would more resemble what occurs on the social networking side – fatigue, etc.

I’d also argue that a strong contrast with social networking exists in the way that returns can be distributed as well. Prospective buyers return to online locations where they can generally find what they are looking for. A first order hub with a large number of rich media listings geared to a subset of prospective would likely have most if not all current contenet consumed (or parhaps the volume bar would bedeemed to to the relevent content).  When the right mix of rich media is consistently distributed in volume to a given first order hub, this enables a return (as measured in loyalty) to the first order hub while simultaneously enabling a return (as measured in leads) to the source hub. This forms the basis of a win-win relationship between source and first order hubs. Raising the volume of rich media listings to a given hub would thereby increase the loyalty and drive more leads.  

Why Social Networking Is Close Behind The Content Distribution Model: Social networks still have relatively few outlets for syndication in the web 2.0 world. The vast majority of visitors still must visit or be redirected to the source (or the source feed) for both their initial introduction to a idea provider as well as their continuing updates. As networks such as Homescopes come online, visitors will be increasingly introduced to and be able to regularly consume ideas away from the source hub.  Like content distribution networks, the return (as measured in loyalty) can be to the first order hub but returns (as measured by leads) can be returned to the author.  To date, this is still is not happening on a grand scale but it wil be happening soon.  Conversely, we’ll see more content distribution networks that are more geared to generating returns based on loyalty such as InmanTV and BloodhoundTV.  Web 3.0 awaits….

Let’s conclude by acknowledging the existence of certain social networks based on the return of loyalty in addition to those based on the return of leads.  However, social networks can take a hybrid approach that is similar to rich media content distribution network to gain reach with ideas, return loyalty to first order information providers, and return leads to the source.  A lot more thinking has to go into this.



  1. […] So now that we have the mix of site visitors that we want, are there other concerns about loyalty?  We’ll toss out an idea that your user base can demonstrate far too much loyalty.  Using an illustrative but extreme example, if 100% of our property videos were being watched by the same user that would obviously be bad, but would 80% of videos being watched only by a group of repeat visitors be considered bad as well? We think so. Let’s go back to the hubs and spokes networking model for a second and think in terms of quality of those hubs.  A quality first level hub in a content distribution network is defined as a hub with volume traffic that has a high mix of users looking to consume the type of con…. […]

  2. […] For Sale By Locals: A New Real Estate Approach Real Estate Video | Software | International Marketing | Conceptual Thinking | Consulting « Public Real Estate Video Beta Is Now Live Socially Rich Media: The Current State of The Social Networking Aspects of Rich Media December 15, 2007 The underlying power of social networking lie in the both in the wisdom of crowds and the ability of individual members of that crowd to return value to the group or to the originator of content within that group. We have previously written about return value with social networks being measured in terms of lead generation and loyalty.  […]

  3. […] Building Within A Content Network: Finding The Right Range Of Loyal Visitors Posting Volume And Loyalty As Factors In Social Networking’s Hub And Spoke Distribution Model Extending The Concept Of Distribution Hubs And Spokes To Include Value Measurements Measuring […]

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