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Where is “the us” in the nework?
Posted By John David Smith On July 13, 2012 @ 5:40 pm In Conferences,Event design,Technology | 2 Comments
I’m always on the lookout for how technology changes “being together” — especially how it can change the sense of a group and of our “place” in a group. For that, NodeXL  and Twitter  have real possibilities.
On Saturday, July 14, I’m going to host a session  at the Community Leadership Summit to play with these tools in a real life situation. Please come and play! To illustrate what I mean, I’m going to use an example from the CHIFOO  meeting the other night. But the idea is to collect data at 4:00 pm during the coffee break and talk about it at 4:15 in Saturday’s last session .
NodeXL lets you pull all the tweets that use a hashtag and information about the relationships between all the Twitter accounts. Then it calculates a bunch of statistics and generates some pretty pictures, like this one. You can see lots of more massive and probably more interesting graphs on NodeXL Graph Gallery  where Marc Smith  and others share their graphs and the datasets they come from and the parameters that were used to create them. The point about this graph is that you might be able to find yourself in it.
Marc and the other designers are sociologists, so basically they are looking at groups from the outside. (I’m building on a good paper they wrote  about “EventGraphs”, as well as other references that Marc gave me here , and here , and here .) I always assume we look at groups from the inside, whether we know it or not: that’s the place for community development, facilitation, technology stewardship , and all the rest.
I find that NodeXL usually gathers more data than I can get my head around. Lots of interesting statistics about you and everybody else. For example at the CHIFOO meeting, @JohnWeiss  was the speaker and his score for “Betweenness Centrality” was the highest, even though others tweet more than him or have more followers. And you can compare lots of little Social Network graphs — what your (Twitter) graph looks like in comparison with everyone else’s. (At least everyone else who’s using the hashtag at the moment.)
NodeXL also contains a lot of data that you can look at in other ways. For example, I took all the user tags from everyone in the dataset and put it in Wordle. I was expecting to see words like “design,” “experience,” “UX,” predominate, but this is what I got.  The Wordle reminds me that even though CHIFOO is generally a really brainy and geeky group, we participate in its meetings because it’s in Portland and we get Human contact and we figure out who to follow.
Anyway, I can get lost in a dataset like the one that NodeXL generates. There’s always a tricky question of when you’re “done.” (I learned from John W. Tukey  that there is no formula for that. Only gut.) It depends on what you want. What I want is to know what a Social Network tool like NodeXL can help us:
The NodeXL developers want to make it sooo easy to generate a Social Network Graph that we do it as a matter of course. And so we learn to look in the mirror. But I think the only way to learn to look in a mirror is to do it. Hope to see you on Saturday — in the mirror and face-to-face! And I hope to share the data from that conference and report back on what people say.
Here’s the dataset: cls12-sat-pm .
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URL to article: http://learningalliances.net/2012/07/where-is-the-us-in-the-nework/
URLs in this post:
 NodeXL: http://nodexl.codeplex.com/
 Twitter: https://twitter.com/smithjd
 host a session: http://communityleadershipsummit.wikia.com/wiki/Mirror,_Mirror_in_the_Twitterverse
 Community Leadership Summit : http://www.communityleadershipsummit.com/
 CHIFOO: http://www.chifoo.org/
 4:15 in Saturday’s last session: http://communityleadershipsummit.wikia.com/wiki/2012/Saturday_Session_Schedule#4:15_-_5:00
 Image: http://learningalliances.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/chifoo-jul2012.png
 NodeXL Graph Gallery: http://nodexlgraphgallery.org/Pages/Default.aspx
 Marc Smith: http://www.connectedaction.net/marc-smith/
 a good paper they wrote: http://hcil2.cs.umd.edu/trs/2010-13/2010-13.pdf
 here: http://techpresident.com/news/22538/crowd-photography-cyber-tahrir-square
 here: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/04/09/pictures_at_a_revolution
 here: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/06/18/visualizing_the_war_on_women
 technology stewardship: http://technologyforcommunities.com/
 Image: http://learningalliances.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/chifoo-jul2012-user-descript-sample.png
 @JohnWeiss: https://twitter.com/johnweiss
 the dataset : http://learningalliances.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/chifoo-12jul2012.xlsx
 Image: http://learningalliances.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/chifoo-jul2012-user-descript-wordle.png
 John W. Tukey: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Tukey
 cls12-sat-pm: http://learningalliances.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/cls12-sat-pm.xlsx
 Image: http://www.blinklist.com/index.php?Action=Blink/addblink.php&Url=http%3A%2F%2Flearningalliances.net%2F2012%2F07%2Fwhere-is-the-us-in-the-nework%2F&Title=Where%20is%20%22the%20us%22%20in%20the%20nework%3F
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