In this episode host Randy Farmer (@frandallfarmer) and I talk about how to think about social media influence in terms of a social network. Networks can be measured and a variety of patterns can be found in them that indicate the role or pattern of connections a person has.
We talk about why influence is not a single attribute, it is a more complex function of a person’s position within a web of relationships.
People play different roles in social media networks, we talk about three: hubs, bridges and islands. Each plays a different role in a social media network. Each has a different kind of influence.
Once these different roles are measured, people can be ranked in terms of their similarity to one or the other pattern. Highly ranked people can be influential” in terms of their different locations in a network.
In a related blog post, I suggest possible strategies for using network insights to drive a social media campaign: identify key people and their content to guide targeted relationship building. See:
Summer Social Webshop
Technology-Mediated Social Participation University of Maryland, College Park August 23-26, 2011
Eventful. The 2011 Webshop at the University of Maryland was certainly that with both an earthquake and a hurricane to mark the start and end of the event. We really moved heaven and earth at this workshop.
In 4 days, 20 talks, 45 students, an earthquake, a hurricane and many new connections – the Webshop touched on a set of related concepts, methods, and findings about ways to use communication and computation technology to help groups, neighborhoods, cities, states, and nations work collectively towards common goals.
Several years ago a program at the University of Maryland called “Webshop” (Web Workshop) was organized by Professor John Robinson and held for three consecutive Summers. I visited and spoke at two of these events and know many people who attended or spoke at one or more and remember the event enthusiastically. The students who attended include some of the now leading researchers in the field of social science studies of the internet. There is an impressive alumni list.
The last Webshop was held in 2003 and many years and significant changes have occurred in the time since. Twitter, Facebook, StreetView, iPad,FourSquare, Android, Kinect, EC2, Mechanical Turk, Arduino, were all new or non-existent when the first Webshops were run. Today we have more reason than ever to focus on the details and patterns of computer-mediated human association. Ever more people channel more of their communications with others through more digital media, often of the social kind. A new data resource for the social sciences is growing in scale and promise: from billions of events it is possible to start to build a picture of an aggregate whole, and to start to grasp the terrain and landscape of social media.
After many years of inactivity, the Summer Social Webshop (@Webshop2011) happened again! With the generous support of the National Science Foundation and additional assistance from Google Research, on August 23-26, 2011 at the University of Maryland, College Park, a group of students heard and engaged with more than two dozen leading researchers exploring digital social landscapes from a variety of perspectives. Organized by a collaboration between the University of Maryland’s Human Computer Interaction Laboratory (HCIL), the College of Information Studies, the Sociology and Computer Science Department, and the Social Media Research Foundation, the event gathered students from a wide range of disciplines to get a concentrated dose of advanced efforts to gather data from social media and people’s understanding and practices around digital technologies. Doctoral students in computer science, iSchools, sociology, communications, political science, anthropology, psychology, journalism, and related disciplines applied to attend the 4-day intensive workshop on Technology-Mediated Social Participation (TMSP). The workshop explored the many ways social media can be applied to national priorities such as health, energy, education, disaster response, political participation, environmental protection, business innovation, or community safety. The workshop attracted graduate students at US universities studying social-networking tools, blogs and microblogs, user-generated content sites, discussion groups, problem reporting, recommendation systems, mobile and location aware media creation, and other social media.
Here is an example map of the connections among the people who tweeted the word “Purdue” on September 16th, 2011:
Connections among the Twitter users who recently tweeted the word Purdue when queried on September 16, 2011, scaled by numbers of tweets (with outliers thresholded). Connections created when users reply, mention or follow one another.
These are the connections among the people who recently tweeted the term “ASA2011” on 18 August 2011.
Several papers and panels related to the sociology of the internet will take place:
Saturday, Aug 20 – 2:30pm – 4:10pm
124. Section on Sociology of Law Paper Session. Privacy in the Digital Age: Law, Culture, and Contention I (co-sponsored with the Section on Collective Behavior and Social Movements and Section on Communication and Information Technology)
Monday, Aug 22 – 8:30-9:30AM Roundtables
338. Section on Communication and Information Technology Roundtable Session
Monday, Aug 22 – 9:30-10:10AM Business and Awards Ceremony
(immediately follows roundtables)
Monday, Aug 22 – 10:30AM – 12:10PM
376. Section on Communication and Information Technology Invited Session. Social Media in Community Action and Social Change
Monday, Aug 22 – 2:30pm – 4:10pm
419. Section on Communication and Information Technology Paper Session. New Media Frontiers: Youth and New Media
Monday, Aug 22 – 5:00-7:00PM, Section Reception, hotel suite, Caesars Palace
Location to be announced at all CITASA sessions and meetings.
This workshop provides an overview of Social Network Analysis (SNA) and its application to social media. The network or directed graph is a common structure in a wide range of different kinds of social media. Social Network Analysis is a set of tools, concepts, and techniques that can help measure a graph and the location and connection pattern of each component part.
Using NodeXL, workshop participants will learn how to take data from common social media sources (including enterprise discussions and online communities, Twitter, Flickr, your own email) and perform various types of analysis. Through this workshop, participants will:
· be able to understand the basics of SNA, its terminology and background.
· be able to transform communication data (e.g. Twitter, email, Flickr, message boards etc.) into network data.
· understand the different possible presentations of social networks, e.g. in a matrix or a sociogram.
· apply network metrics and visualizations to find clusters and key contributors in real world social media data.
· get familiar with the use of standard SNA tools and software in general and the NodeXL social network analysis add-in for Excel in particular.
· be able to derive practical and useful information through SNA analysis that would help design an innovative and successful online community.
Title: Visualizing collections of social media connections: using social network analysis to assess, evaluate and measure social media engagement
Abstract: Social networks are created whenever people interact. These networks become more visible when interactions take place through social media. Social networks form when people link, reply, comment, edit, tag, and friend one another. Sub-populations are formed whenever people mention the same company, products, event, topic, or personality. Using social network analysis on collections of social media connections reveals important patterns: how are people clustered and grouped, where are the gaps, who plays the roles of bridge, hub, and isolate? In this talk I will display maps of twitter, you tube, flickr, and enterprise email systems and demonstrate several tools that can be used to collect, analyze, map and monitor social media, including the free and open NodeXL (network overview, discovery and exploration) add-in Excel 2007.
Here, for example, is a map of the connections among people who recently mentioned “haifa” in twitter sized by number of followers:
Some photos taken during the trip are available after the jump:
When the late Peter Kollock and I published Communities in Cyberspace with Routledge in 1999 there were few broadband connections, no iPhones, and little WiFi. Today, there is an ebook version of the book and Amazon sells a version for the Kindle, a device it was hard to even imagine when the book was written. Google lets you browse most of it and search all of it. But the key ideas of the volume: identity, interaction, collective action and emergent order remain relevant in a wireless broadband netbook mobile social network real-time web world. The book is now ten years old.
“Since 1993, computer networks have grabbed enormous public attention. The major news and entertainment media have been filled with stories about the “information superhighway” and of the financial and political fortunes to be made on it. Computer sales continue to rise and more and more people are getting connected to “the Net”. Computer networks, once an obscure and arcane set of technologies used by a small elite, are now widely used and the subject of political debate, public interest, and popular culture. The “information superhighway” competes with a collection of metaphors that attempt to label and define these technologies. Others, like “cyberspace,” “the Net,” “online,” and “the web,” highlight different aspects of network technology and its meaning, role and impact. Whichever term is used, it is clear that computer networks allow people to create a range of new social spaces in which to meet and interact with one another.”
The ASA attracts thousands of sociologists, a subsection of whom have a passion for the study of the Internet and its many forms of social impacts and uses. The Communications and Information Technology Section of the American Sociological Association (CITASA) is the group that gathers many forms of social science research on the creation and uses of information technology. This year’s meeting included two CITASA panels, round tables, a business meeting with awards, and a (windy!) boat ride through San Francisco Bay and beneath the Golden Gate Bridge.
Earlier in the year, in March 2009, many people gathered at De Neve Plaza at UCLA to remember Peter Kollock.
On Monday, September 14th, at 10:30 PST, I met on the phone with Jerry Michalski and other participants for one of his regular weekly Yi-tan conference calls to discuss the scholarship and personal legacy of Peter Kollock. In this podcast, I spoke about my years of working with Peter to apply the models of collective action dilemmas, common pool resources, cooperation, and conflict to the creation of Internet social institutions and resources. I discussed Peter’s work with his colleague Jodi O’Brien, and the lasting impact of his research into studies of cooperation, collective action, and common goods as well as his impact on students, business, and the field of social science. Jodi and Peter were colleagues and co-authors for many years, creating a widely used text The Production of Reality: Essays and Readings in Social Psychology as well as several other publications. I worked with Peter while studying for my Ph.D. at UCLA in Sociology. Peter and I wrote about the sociology of the Internet together and co-edited a book Communities in Cyberspace.
I will post a few links to some of Peter’s work that has had the most impact on me in upcoming posts.
You are welcome to join the CITASA Business Meeting on Aug 8 from 9:30-10:10am at the Parc 55 Hotel where the recipients will be presented with their awards. A description of the awards and list of past recipients can be found on the CITASA website: http://citasa.org/awards
2009 CITASA Student Paper Award
Daniel A. Menchik and Xiaoli Tian (University of Chicago)
Putting Social Context into Text: The Semiotics of E-mail Interaction. American Journal of Sociology 114(2): 332-370. (2008).
Committee members:Zeynep Tufekci (Chair), Lori Kendall, and Anabel Quan-Haase
Committee members:Michael Macy (Chair), Marc Smith, Keith Hampton
2009 CITASA Paper Award
Eszter Hargitta, Jason Gallo, and Matthew Kane (Northwestern University)
Cross-ideological discussions among conservative and liberal bloggers. Public Choice 134: 67-86. (2008).
Lori Kendall (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
How do issues of gender and sexuality influence the structures and process of qualitative internet research? pp. 99-118. In Internet Inquiry: Conversations about method, Annette Markham and Nancy Baym (eds). Los Angeles: Sage (2008).
Committee members:Hiroshi Ono (Chair), Rich Ling, and Bernie Hogan