Starting in version 100 NodeXL has added a data import feature for extracting social networks from the associations between users and videos in YouTube. The new social media network data spigot offers insights into the ways YouTube is socially structured. This spigot joins the existing twitter, flickr, and email data import providers present in NodeXL. We plan to deliver a expanded flickr spigot soon and have been working with others to deliver a hyperlink and wiki network provider in the coming months. We have an interest in social media network data spigots for other networks data sources like SharePoint, Exchange, and LDAP servers.
There are two types of network that NodeXL can extract from YouTube: video and user networks.
Video networks are collections of related videos linked by a shared string in their title, keywords, description, categories, or author’s username.
The user network returns a set of YouTube user names and the links between them based on users friending and or subscribing to another user.
Each import dialog allows for a number of configurations over the volume and detail of the data set requested.
On December 15th in Mountain View, California join me for lunch and a workshop on creating social media network diagrams! We will provide a hands-on guide to creating maps of the collections of connections among people who tweet about various brands, topics, events, and concepts. Bring your own Windows/Office 2007 machine and we will set you up with the free and open NodeXL and help you create a map yourself of the topic of your choice.
This is a very distinct group from the second cluster around my own account and the recently created NodeXL twitter account.
In contrast, this is the map of all the people who mentioned the keyword “SharePoint” recently in Twitter.
This is clearly a much larger population and one with a dense core of highly connected individuals. A number of peripheral groups surround the core. Drilling in can reveal who the center of the center of the network is, a potentially highly influential person.
While I am back in Aachen, I hope I will get to see some of the folks I met at the “European Microsoft Innovation Center” (EMIC) located there. They focus on research into embedded systems which I see as having vast implications for the ways computers sense social relationships. When sociologically aware machines are widely used, we will have new ways of building and maintaining relationships.
I will give three presentations over two days in Aachen – I hope you can attend if you are in the area!
Monday, December 7, 2009 (in cooperation with the Web Science II course at RWTH Aachen University):
12:15 – 13:45 Social Media Visualization Analysis: overview of work to visualize social media using treemaps, histograms, scatterplots and social network diagrams
Using social media makes evidence of social relationships into machine readable data streams. The resulting data sets contain time series, hierarchy, and network data structures that can be visualized to illustrate the range of variation in social media data spaces and participants. Histograms, line charts, treemaps, and network diagrams can be used in concert to illuminate the many facets of behavior and population present in social media spaces. Resulting images illustrate the range of variation of individual and collective formations in social media spaces.
16:00 – 17:30NodeXL – A hands-on guide: a workshop style review of sample data sets that are processed through NodeXL operations to generate metrics and a visualization that tells a story.
As social media networks proliferate there is a growing need for tools to manage, analyze, and visualize network graphs. NodeXL is an add-in for Office 2007 that provides social network diagram and analysis tools in the context of a spreadsheet application. Adding the directed graph chart type to Excel opens up many possibilities for easily manipulating networks and controlling their display properties. In this workshop the steps needed to install and productively operate NodeXL for Office 2007 are reviewed. The free and open NodeXL add-in provides directed graph charting features within Excel, allowing users to create node-link diagrams with control over each node and edge color, size, transparency and shape without requiring the use of a command line interface or programming language. Since NodeXL builds within Excel, all of the controls and programmatic features of Office are available. Additional features of NodeXL generate social networks from social media data sources like personal e-mail (drawing data from the Windows Desktop Search engine) and the Twitter social network micro-blogging system. Arbitrary edge lists (anything that can be pasted into Excel) can be visualized and analyzed in NodeXL. This session will provide a walk through the basic operation of NodeXL.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
10:00 – 11:00 In the future my phone will notice your phone: from ephemeral to archival societies
New sources of data from everyday life are being captured and recorded with mobile devices, creating a new stream of archival material that is richer than all but the most obsessively observed biographies. Many organizations are adopting social media and creating data sets that map their internal social network structure as an accidental by-product. Studying these data is sets is a focus of growing interest. Research projects like SenseCam are now becoming products and services like nTag, Spotme, Fire Eagle, and Google Lattitude using devices like iPhone and G1 are weaving location into every application. When my phone notices your phone a new set of mobile social software applications become possible that capture data about other people as they beacon their identifies to one another. Additional sensors will collect medical data to improve our health and safety, as early adopters in the “Quantified Self” movement make clear. Social media systems are being linked to one another to enable cascades of events from a single message as status updates are passed among Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and blogs automatically aggregate the results of searches and post articles that themselves may trigger other events. Taking a photo or updating a status message can now set off a series of unpredictable events. The result will be lives that are more publicly displayed than ever before. Add potential improvements in audio and facial recognition and a new world of continuous observation and publication emerges. Some benefits, like those displayed by the Google Flu tracking system, illustrate the potential for insight from aggregated sensor data. Risks include more efficient state and corporate surveillance and self-imposed censorship.
On December 4th, I will be attending the Oxford Internet Institute‘s Forum on Relationships and the Internet which will feature researchers focused on computer-mediated relationships. Rather than being used primarily to access information, people often use networked computing to access people, creating or sustaining relationships with others. There are many ways in which the Internet and a range of applications are now used to find new people, find old people, maintain primary connections, sustain weak ties, and build personal and professional relationships. Dating sites are a clear part of the Internet relationship picture but so are professional “dating” services like LinkedIn or professional services directories like Craig’s List, social networking services like Facebook, and “normal” tools like email. People now use a concerted set of Internet tools in building and maintaining their relationships.
Researchers are interested in online dating and social networking. They are now exploring the role of information and communication technologies in all forms of interpersonal relationships. Practitioners from a growing and international relationship industry who want to cultivate and manage these relationship systems will attend along with policy-makers who seek to regulate their uses towards positive ends and avoid abuses.
Research in Internet relationships goes beyond a focus on dating sites and services to incorporate all the stages and types of relationships being shaped by social information technology. My demonstration will illustrate the ways NodeXL can map relationships in a variety of social media spaces, including YouTube, flickr, email, twitter, and (with the help of Bernie Hogan’s ego-network importer) Facebook. These maps can be a useful ways of distinguishing different kinds of relationship patterns present in these spaces, identifying key participants who acts as hubs or bridges.
The OII also maintains a video webcast site with a great collection of recordings of lectures and panel discussions of a variety of topics related to the Internet and society. In particular, check out Duncan Watts presenting a talk on “Using the Web to do Social Science“.