Marc Smith joining Media-X at Stanford as a Visiting Scholar

I am joining Media-X at Stanford University as a visiting scholar.

Stanford University

I will work with Martha Russell and Chuck House in applying social network analysis to social media research.

You can email me at!

Our next event will be in late July and will focus on the use of social media analysis for mapping patterns of investment and innovation.

Talk on Social Media at the University of Porto, Portugal, March 26th, 2010

Along with my colleague Eduarda Mendes-Rodriguez I will be speaking at the University of Porto next Friday, March 26th.

Hands-on Workshop – Social Media Network Analysis in NodeXL

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.

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RWTH Aachen – Browse ACM conference networks over the web

There are hundreds of conferences sponsored by the ACM on almost every topic related to computing.  In some cases the same person will publish a paper in more than one conference, creating a tie between them.  Below is a network map application that displays a collection of ACM conferences connected by this authorship tie:

The application is a project created by Manh Cuong Pham a graduate student at RWTH Aachen University, Dept. of Databases and Information Systems working with Prof. Ralf Klamma.

2009 - December - RWTH Aachen - AERCS Screenshot

This image displays the isolated component that is composed of the “social” conferences in the ACM schedule: CHI, CSCW, DIS, UIST, GROUP, ECSCW, and Interact.  The overview illustrates the macro structure of the graph, with the prominent giant cluster of core computer science topics like algorithms, machine learning, and logic.  The rows below this cluster are populated by an archipelago of conferences, a few composed of ten to twenty conferences, but most made up of two to five conferences.  These are the more marginal topics in the ACM world, in contrast to the conferences at the cores of the giant component.

It would be nice to see the application add additional network display attributes like size, color, shape, edge thickness to indicate conference attributes like papers published, cited, attendees, and sponsors.  It is a nice example of the insights network visualizations can bring to a data set and the value of an interactive interface (and a web interface at that!) for investigating complex graphs.

Congressional Tweets Analyzed at UMD

Here is a great piece of social media research from the University of Maryland, College of Information Studies.

Prof. Jen Golbeck and Justin Grimes analyzed 6,000 tweets from United States Congress members.  They found some interaction but a dominant broadcast pattern of use with a focus on self-promotion.  The Washington Post headlines the results as “Tweeting Their Own Horns Study Finds Posts By Lawmakers Boastful or Boring”

Here is the video:

From the UMD News desk:
“A new study by University of Maryland researchers finds a
growing use of Twitter among members of Congress, but that
the purpose and content of their messages fall short of
improving government transparency.

Jennifer Golbeck, assistant professor in the College of Information
Studies, Maryland’s iSchool, a doctoral student and an undergraduate
assistant analyzed more than 5,000 tweets sent by 69 members of
Congress in February. They found that House and Senate members
were using the social media platform mostly to promote themselves,
rather than engage in dialogue with constituents and the public at large.

“Members of Congress were not sharing much new information on
Twitter, and there were few posts that improve transparency,”
Golbeck says.”