As we build Social Media sites one of the things we must consider is how we measure “popularity”. In pure social networking sites this appears to have already been established – he who has the most contacts is the most popular (read: Robert Scoble).
In Enterprise sites that have a social aspect using popularity numbers as a metric is not just of little value – it can actually be detrimental. It invites spamming, and purposeful inflation of one’s actual network.
Businesses need authority as a key mechanism for determining “popularity”.
How you measure “authority” is very much dependant upon the specific type of site you have. On some sites it might be based on “reach” – how many other people of your profession are you connected with? In other scenarios the longevity of that relationship may be more critical.
What is VERY evident to me though is that nobody who thinks they have Enterprise + Social Networking figured out probably doesn’t.