December 30th, 2013 by Marc Smith · 1 Comment
In the latest episode of the Social Media Clarity podcast host Randy Farmer tells an industry story about the inevitability of end users creating content that offends someone. The post was originally on Randy’s blog at http://habitatchronicles.com/ and describes the effort to create a safe social space that would make offensive content creation all but impossible. He imagines a universal law of content creation: users will find a way. The result is “BlockChat” – a hypothetical minimal social media system designed in the hope of removing all objectionable content from the system, which inevitably fails. Randy Farmer’s story is about community moderation issues for early kid-centric virtual worlds but it applies to any collection of content and people. He read’s from his 2007 Habitat Chronicles blog post: The Untold History of Toontown’s SpeedChat (or BlockChat(tm) from Disney finally arrives).
Disney’s Hercworld, Toontown, and BlockChat(tm) – S01E08
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Tags: 2013 · Podcast · Research · Social Media Clarity · Sociology · Talk · Talks
December 11th, 2013 by Marc Smith · No Comments
Graduate students in Computer Science at the University of Maryland in a class on information visualization produced a striking variety of NodeXL network analysis visualizations for their recent homework projects. The class, taught by Prof. Ben Shneiderman (www.cs.umd.edu/~ben), covers commercial tools, such as Spotfire and Tableau, and research software, giving students a chance to learn a range of existing visualization techniques and tools. The NodeXL homework project is done by individual students, midway in the semester, while 5-person student teams are also busy working on their major term projects, which create novel visualization tools for specialized applications. To see all the projects, click:
(Don’t be deterred by security warnings, the class wiki is open for all to read, but only students can edit)!
Several of the 30 projects deal with Facebook, Twitter, email, Wikipedia, and YouTube social networks, with academic citation patterns and sports networks adding variety. Entertainment, finance and medical analyses round out the collection, showing the huge range of potential NodeXL applications. Students had only two weeks to find data, import it, clean it, and then create meaningful visualizations that enabled them to find interesting insights into connected structures.
Gregory Kramida’s analysis of stock symbol co-occurrences in financial articles
Gregory Kramida analyzed the connections among company names in the business press. See:
The project shows the strong linkages between technology companies and consumer services, finance and public utilities. The data set of more than 50,000 financial articles had more than 400,000 co-occurrences of stock ticker symbols. He used the NodeXL grouping feature to organize the stocks into groups by industry and then showed results using the Group-in-a-Box layout feature. This network is limited to companies that were mentioned together at least 50 times.
Ruofei Du’s analysis of co-authorship patterns
Ruofei Du probed the relationship among authors in 1033 scientific papers from the 1988 to 2013 User Interface Software & Technology (UIST) conference. See:
The co-author collaborations followed commonly seen patterns of professors and their students, but the relationships between academia and industry showed novel patterns. After grouping authors by their organizations, it is apparent that Microsoft is well-represented at this conference through numerous collaborations with universities.
Joshua Brule’s analysis of actor co-performance connections from the television series Firefly
Joshua Brule created an intriguing story of television and film actors and actresses that emerges from analysis of ten actors from the cancelled television series Firefly. See:
The actors had few collaborations before appearing on the program, but many afterwards. The carefully constructed bipartite network shows how ten actors collaborated in 38 films, television shows, or videogames.
Tags: 2013 · Foundation · Maryland · Metrics · NodeXL · Presentation · Research · SMRF · SNA · Social Media · Social Media Research Foundation · Social network · Social Network Analysis · Sociology · University · Visualization
December 2nd, 2013 by Marc Smith · No Comments
Tags: 2013 · Podcast · Research · Social Interaction · Social Media · Social Media Clarity · Sociology · Talks · Technology
November 24th, 2013 by Marc Smith · 2 Comments
Network analysis is a way of looking at the world that focuses on the shape and structure of collections of relationships.
In a network perspective the world is not primarily composed of individuals (“nodes”, “vertices”, “entities”). Instead, a network approach focuses on relationships between individuals (“edges”, “ties”, “connections”, “links”).
When collections of connections are analyzed, network patterns emerge. Networks have a variety of shapes and within them people occupy a variety of locations within each network. Some people are highly connected, while most people have just a few connections, for example.
Network theory provides a big collection of math that enables the measurement of these shapes and structures.
Using these measures, network analysis can identify key people in important locations in the network (for example: hubs, bridges, and islands). Network metrics allow for the network as a whole to be measured in terms of size and shape. Networks have many basic shapes and we have found six shapes to be common in internet and enterprise social media: divided, unified, fragmented, clustered, outward hub and spoke, inward hub and spoke. These shapes are created when people make individual decisions about who to reply to, link to, and like.
Divided networks are created when two groups of people talk about a controversial topic – but do not connect to people in the “other” group. Unified networks are formed by small to medium sized groups that are obscure or professional topics, conference hashtags are a good example. Fragmented networks have few connections among the people in them: these are often people talking about a brand or popular topic or event. Clusters sometimes grow among the people talking about a brand, indicating a existence of a brand “community”. Broadcast networks are formed when a prominent media person is widely repeated by many audience members, forming a hub-and-spoke pattern with the spokes pointed inward at the hub. The final pattern is the opposite, hub-and-spoke patterns with the hub linking out to a number of spokes. This pattern is generated by technical and customer support accounts like those for computer and airline companies. Additional patterns may exist, but these patterns are prominent in many social media network data sets.
When applied to external conversations, social media networks help identify the “mayor” of a hashtag or topic: these are the people at the center of the network. Network maps can be compared to the six basic types of networks to understand the nature of the topic community. We can look for examples of successful social media efforts and map those topic networks. Social media managers can contrast their topics with those of their aspirational targets and measure the difference between where they are and where they want to be.
When applied to enterprise conversations and connections, network analysis can reveal the experts who answer many people’s questions and “brokers” who bridge otherwise disconnected groups as well as the “structural holes” that show where a bridge or link is needed.
These insights can be useful in mergers, HR evaluation of group and manager performance, and identifying internal subject matter experts.
Research performed using NodeXL shows that work teams that have higher levels of internal connection (which is called “network density”) have higher levels of performance and profit. See:
The impact of intragroup social network topology on group performance: understanding intra-organizational knowledge transfer through a social capital framework
Wise, Sean Evan (2013) The impact of intragroup social network topology on group performance: understanding intra-organizational knowledge transfer through a social capital framework. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
Full text available as: PDF Download (2499Kb) | Preview
Tags: 2014 · Data Mining · Foundation · Measuring social media · Metrics · NodeXL · Presentation · Research · SMRF · SNA · Social Media Research Foundation · Social network · Social Network Analysis · Social Roles · Social Theories and concepts · Sociology · Talks · Visualization
November 17th, 2013 by Marc Smith · No Comments
I will speak this December 12-14 , 2013 at the DISC2013 International Conference on Social Network Analsysis at Yeungnam University in Daegu, South Korea - http://bit.ly/17LtWlo
My host is conference organizer Dr. Han Woo Park, director or the Webometrics Lab at Yeungnam University
After the conference I will travel to visit with other research groups in Korea focused on the study of social media. I will be traveling with a colleague, Dr. Jana Diesner, professor of information science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Schedule for December:
12-14 Asia Triple Helix Forum
16 Workshop at POSTECH with Dr. Woo-Sung Jung
17 Talk at KAIST with Dr. Il-Chul Moon
18 Workshop at Treum, Meeting with Dr. Gihong Yi
19 Sogang University and KISTEP
Tags: 2013 · Conference · Foundation · Measuring social media · Metrics · Network metrics and measures · Network visualization layouts · NodeXL · Research · SMRF · Social Interaction · Social Media · Social Media Research Foundation · Social network · Social Network Analysis · Social Theories and concepts · Sociology · Talk · Talks · Technology · University · Visualization · Workshop
November 5th, 2013 by Marc Smith · No Comments
I will participate in a workshop at IREX in Washington D.C. on November 13, 2013.
The workshop is titled Social Network Analysis: Influence and Impact Beyond Likes and Retweets. We will focus on the applications of social network analysis for development efforts, exploring how SNA can:
- Create viral and influential advocacy and political campaigns
- Find business and employment connections for entrepreneurs and youth
- Identify hidden disease vectors and stop new infection pathways
- Break circles of government corruption and graft
- Target existing informal support resources for disaster response
The workshop will be facilitated by Wayan Vota along with three social network analysis researchers:
- Marc Smith, Social Media Research Foundation and NodeXL
- Rohan Grover, Upworthy and People For the American Way
- Behar Xharra, Kosovo Diaspora
This Deep Dive will be an active event. We will mix thoughtful discussions with experiential activities, building social capital while we learn about social networks. Participants are encouraged to submit social media topics in advance so maps and reports can be generated for the event.
Note that this event is in-person only, so please RSVP now to attend.
How Social Network Analysis Can Improve Impact
IREX Tech Deep Dive
November 13th, 2013
Tags: 2013 · Connected Action · Foundation · Measuring social media · Metrics · NodeXL · Presentation · Research · SMRF · SNA · Social Media · Social Media Research Foundation · Social network · Social Network Analysis · Social Theories and concepts · Sociology · Talk · Talks · Technology · Training · Visualization · Workshop
November 5th, 2013 by Marc Smith · No Comments
I am excited to have the opportunity to present a NodeXL workshop at the DC Data Community on November 13th at 6pm in Washington, D.C.
In this session I will describe the ways NodeXL can simplify the process of collecting, storing, analyzing, visualizing and publishing reports about connected structures.
For example, this is a map of the connections among the people who recently tweeted about the DataCommunityDC Twitter account was created with just a few clicks and no coding:
This graph represents a network of 67 Twitter users whose recent tweets contained “DataCommunityDC“, taken from a data set limited to a maximum of 10,000 tweets. The network was obtained from Twitter on Tuesday, 05 November 2013 at 15:15 UTC.
The tweets in the network were tweeted over the 7-day, 16-hour, 4-minute period from Monday, 28 October 2013 at 22:38 UTC to Tuesday, 05 November 2013 at 14:42 UTC.
There is an edge for each “replies-to” relationship in a tweet. There is an edge for each “mentions” relationship in a tweet. There is a self-loop edge for each tweet that is not a “replies-to” or “mentions”.
The network has been segmented into groups (“G1, G2, G3…”) and each group is labeled with the words most frequently used in the tweets from the people in that group.
The size of each Twitter user’s profile picture represents the log scaled value of their follower count.
Analysis of the network location of each participant reveals the people in key locations in the network, people at the “center” of the graph.
The top URLs mentioned in this network were:
[Read more →]
Tags: 2013 · Collective Action · Connected Action · Foundation · Industry · Measuring social media · Metrics · NodeXL · Presentation · Research · SMRF · SNA · Social Media · Social Media Research Foundation · Social network · Social Network Analysis · Social Roles · Social Theories and concepts · Sociology · Talk · Talks · Visualization · Workshop
October 28th, 2013 by Marc Smith · 4 Comments
The origin of Avatars, MMOs, and Freemium – S01E06
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An interview with Chip Morningstar (and podcast hosts: Randy Farmer and Scott Moore) who created and ran the first MMOs/Virtual Worlds. This segment focuses on the emergent social phenomenon encountered the first time people used avatars with virtual currency, and artificial scarcity.
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Tags: 2013 · Collective Action · Community · Podcast · Social Media · Social Media Clarity · Social Roles · Sociology · Talk · Technology
October 25th, 2013 by Marc Smith · No Comments
NodeXL team member Dr. Cody Dunne recenjtly presented these slides at the 2013 Boston DataSwap on Network Visualization in NodeXL
Tags: 2013 · Conference · Foundation · Measuring social media · Network clusters and communities · Network visualization layouts · NodeXL · Presentation · Research · SMRF · Social Media · Social Media Research Foundation · Social network · Social Network Analysis · Talk · Talks · Technology · Visualization · Workshop
October 14th, 2013 by Marc Smith · No Comments
The 5th episode of the Social Media Clarity Podcast is now out:
Crowdsourcing, Volunteers, and the Sharing Economy
In this episode host Randy Farmer (@frandallfarmer) and I talk with new co-host Scott Moore (@scottmoore) about the promise and pitfalls of crowdsourcing.
We conclude that pixels, not pennies, may be the best currency to create incentives to create quality content.
Tags: 2013 · Collective Action · Common Goods · Foundation · Measuring social media · Metrics · Podcast · Research · Social Interaction · Social Media · Social Media Clarity · Social Media Research Foundation · Sociology · Talk · Talks · Technology