Editorial: Don't call it a Social Graph

“As Facebook adds more and more people with more and more connections it continues growing and becomes more useful at a faster rate. We are going to use it spread information through the social graph.” Mark Zuckerberg claimed a while ago in 2007, while explaining the secret behind the social network.

Now there's always been something that's sounded a little off to me whenever I've heard the term 'Social Graph.'  At first I thought it just sounded pretentious; but the search brought forward the utmost primary reason why.  The idea seems to be resonant with the concept of measuring how connections lead onto other connections, building the social atmosphere.  However, a social atmosphere cannot be graphed.  Real-time serendipity doesn't exist in a technological atmosphere, and it can't be measured.

In the creation of art, there isn't any sizeable statistics throughout the process.  It's just a sum of uncompromising ideas and strokes of paint that formulate something with an emotional connection, the same way that your social life is a set of thought processes and connections.  It's not something that can be accurately presented in a graphical sense due to the nature of it.  A social graph can't measure the qualitative results, it can only measure quantitative, so a social graph it is not.