Connected Action

Sociology and the Internet, Social Media, Networks and Mobile Social Software

June 3 and 4, 2010 – Personal Democracy Forum 2010 – NYC

June 4th, 2010 by Marc Smith · 3 Comments

I spoke on June 4th at the Personal Democracy Forum in New York City about what social media network maps can tell us about various political figures and topics.

The video is available here: http://streams.civicolive.com/stream/127/5040/6000.

Political discussions are obviously a major area of social media use. This talk explores the ways social network analysis and visualization can be applied to mapping discussions of political issues and topics. It features a number of NodeXL generated visualizations of twitter crowds and networks that form around topics like the conference hashtag #PDF2010 (and #PDF10) as well as political and current event relevant terms.

I was also interviewed by Deb Berman from JustMeans.com after the presentation to describe the NodeXL project a bit more:

Here are some sample images of NodeXL topic network maps from the talk:

2010 - June - 3 - NodeXL - Twitter - PDF2010

2010 – June – 3 – NodeXL – Twitter – PDF2010: This map represents the connections among people who tweeted the term “PDF2010″.  It illustrates the people in the “center” and the sub-clusters in the map.  People who occupy “bridge” locations are visible as well.

2010 - June 1 - NodeXL - Twitter - #tcot_

2010 – June 1 – NodeXL – Twitter – #tcot: This is a map of the “Top Conservatives on Twitter” tag. It has a large dominant cluster and a tiny sub group of tcot critics.

2010 - June 1 - NodeXL - Twitter - #p2

2010 – June 1 – NodeXL – Twitter – #p2: The #p2 hashtag is used by “Progressive 2.0″ discussions.  It features a clear dominant cluster of supporters and a smaller cluster of skeptics made up largely of conservatives.

PDF2010 at CUNY

Outside the CUNY Graduate Center auditorium during PDF2010.

Clay Shirky speaks at PDF2010

Clay Shirky’s talk was great: it wove together stories of collective action for good and trivial purposes that framed a call to increase the costs of political activity on the net rather than reduce as a way to improve the impact of contribution rather than their mere scale.

Howard Rheingold at PDF 2010

Howard Rheingold’s discussion with Micha Sifry was insightful, focusing on the ways the Internet can lull us into a lack of mindfullness. A Mindfull approach, Howard encourages, is one where we are not as easily pulled into random tangents and drift aimlessly from link to link and click to click.

Craig Newmark at PDF2010

Craig Newmark

Marc Smith and Craig Newmark at PDF2010 dinner

Marc Smith and Craig Newmark

Tags: Collective Action · Conference · PDF · Politics · Social Media · Talks