Stanley Wasserman, renowned statistician and co-author of the essential textbook Social Network Analysis, gave a fun talk to end the current season of the Complexity series at Harvard's Kennedy School. He devoted his introduction to a sampling of SNA in popular culture, including this headline from the New York Times of April 3, 1933:
You can download the whole article right here.
Wasserman is not only a professor at Indiana University but also Chief Scientist for Visible Path. I first heard about Visible Path when their corporate blog Centrality came out. I recommend you pay it a visit, and then check out the rest of what Visible Path has lined up. It's kind of like LinkedIn on steroids. Their system digests your entire Outlook database (with your permission, of course) and continually monitors all electronic communication among participants. Then when you want to reach a sales prospect (the primary application of Visible Path at this point) the system will recommend the best route to an introduction. Wasserman has apparently created some sophisticated (and proprietary) calculations to inform this recommendation.
Also, if you're a sucker for slick Flash demos, then you have to visit Visible Path just to see theirs. These folks have clearly put a lot of thought into more than statistics.