I will talk about the themes Thinking across Boundaries, Learning by Doing, and Innovating through Collaboration in the context of the work of the Social Media Research Foundation to deliver an end-user friendly, free and open tool for social media network analysis.
The NodeXL project from the Social Media Research Foundation has crossed many boundaries, notably bridging the divide between the social sciences and the computer sciences.
The Social Media Research Foundation team has innovated at multiple levels: organizationally we are a modern, virtual, distributed group of collaborators. Technically, we have focused our project on ease of use and automation rather than scale and sophistication, our users are not programmers. We have implemented many innovative network analysis and visualization techniques because we have been driven by a need to serve a diverse user population. The contributors to the project are themselves from a diverse range of disciplinary backgrounds, making it easier to shape the tool for the broadest audience.