Crunch Your Own Facebook Data

Photograph by Getty Images

Marketers aren’t the only people who see social networks as a trove of information. Before Facebook and Twitter, and the like, academic researchers studying human social behavior had to conduct and collate surveys laboriously, asking subjects about the number of their friendships, their closeness and strength and duration. Now much of that information can be teased out of the digital traces people leave online as they connect, share, and forward stupid joke e-mails.

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