"Imagine there was one number that could sum up how influential you are. It would take into account all manner of things, from how many people you know to how frequently you talk with them to how strongly they value your opinion. Your score could be compared with that of pretty much anyone in the world.
Maybe it'll be called your Google number. Google (GOOG) has a patent pending on technology for ranking the most influential people on social networking sites like MySpace (NWS) and Facebook. In a creative twist, Google is applying the same approach to social networks it has used to dominate the online search business. If this works, it may finally make ads on social networks relevant—and profitable."
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