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Communications Social Networks The Internet Science

E-Mail Can Reveal Your Friend Hierarchy 85

sciencehabit writes "It's not surprising that someone could guess your friends simply by peeking at your e-mail. But a more detailed look at your electronic communications could reveal which friends are closer to you than others, according to a new study. The trick has to do with response time--the time it takes for a sender to respond to e-mails from different contacts. The fastest responses went to friends and that the slowest responses went to acquaintances, with colleagues somewhere in between."
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E-Mail Can Reveal Your Friend Hierarchy

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  • Not about email (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cshake ( 736412 ) <cshake+slashdot@ ... m minus caffeine> on Wednesday November 30, 2011 @04:06PM (#38218108)

    Mixed-mode communication completely breaks this:
    When I get a really long email from a friend or family member asking a question that would take longer to write out than to explain over the phone, I'll wait until I'm free and then give them a call. I guess that means from an email perspective that I hate them and never reply.
    Or what about various organization mailing lists where you reply to the sender with a new email instead of sending something to the whole list?

    Of course this is all irrelevant because this study isn't really intended for emails, despite how they report it - it's for social networking sites with embedded messaging systems to be able to mine more data about you, so they can show you ads that your "closer" friends have clicked on in addition to matching with your profile items, so they can charge more for ads.

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito