E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

Social Network Analysis (SNA) Resources

In the past I have been talking several times about one of my favourite topics related to Knowledge Management and social networks and that is the one about Social Network Analysis. As fascinating and enlightening as it is, lots of people seem to confuse it with Social Networking so after the long weblog post I shared yesterday I thought I would make a short one just sharing over here a few interesting links related to Social Network Analysis, a.k.a. SNA, that would certainly help folks clarify the idea at the same time that they could act as useful resources for future reference.

All of these links have actually been published just recently through the mailing list from actKM and you would be able to read some of the background behind them over there. Or just head over to those links themselves and read on. I know I have got a few other links related to SNA stored in my social bookmarking tools so I think that I would eventually be adding them to this weblog post as well as time goes by and be able to come up with a, hopefully, useful weblog post that I can revisit every now and then to check on those resources once again. Hope it has got the same purpose for you. So, here are the links:

a. A quick primer on Social Network Analysis: A weblog post created by Andrew Rixon, from Anecdote that provides a very handy, and short description, of what SNA is all about, and from where I have taken the graphic to illustrate this post. So all credit due to Andrew.

b. An SNA Sensemaking Activity- Preparing people to see: Another very helpful weblog post by Andrew where he actually gets to explain SNA through sensemaking. This is perhaps one of my favourite resources that explains some of the major benefits from doing Social Network Analysis.

c. Social Networks Analysis and Sensemaking: And talking about some other interesting resources, here you have got the Squidoo lens Andrew created around the same subject (Yes, I know, one of these days I have got to weblog about the superb Squidoo offering).

d. And, finally, one of the other resources that was shared just recently through actKM was this particular event that took place in May 2005 but which has got an incredible amount of different resources and presentation materials around Social Network Analysis: Theories and methods for understanding human social networks. You would agree with me that with that title we are bound to get ourselves busy with some interesting topics of discussion around the subject of SNA. I haven’t dived into the different presentations just yet, but this is one of the activities I am planning to start getting busy with over the course of the weekend. It sounds like it is going to be an interesting one!

Hopefully, I may be able to weblog on some of them at a later time. We shall see how that goes.

So as you have been able to see lots of different and interesting resources around the world of Social Network Analysis and which will hopefully help people get a much better idea of what they are and how they differentiate with social networks. Oh, and before I forget, if you know of other resources you would want to recommend to help add on further into this topic (Yes! It is going to be an in-progress post, I am sure) around SNA feel free to append a comment with your suggestion(s) or contact me offline and I will add them into the main post. The more, the better.

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10 comments

  1. Hi Steve ! Thanks a lot for the feedback comments and for dropping by ! Welcome to elsua!

    Appreciated the link you have shared above. It does sound like a worth while investigating resource related to SNA and I must admit that I have still got to look into it more in detail but so far I like what I am seeing and I may eventually be checking things further out and get more involved. We shall see how it goes and how much time I could devote to it. Still, I really appreciate you sharing this resource over here as I am sure plenty other people would find it useful, too. So thanks for that !

  2. I am not sure what happened with WordPress this time around, but it looks like Steve actually left another comment for this particular weblog post that is not showing up, so I have recover it now and I have reproduced it over here in its entirety:

    You may also find the Network Weaving Blog of interest. Network Weaving involves the application of SNA to creating Smart Networks.

    See:

    http://www.networkweaving.com/blog/

    Also, the people behind this blog will be giving a conference on Weaving Smart Networks: Building Capacity for Positive Change in Organizations and Communities Thu, Oct 12, 2006 to Fri, Oct 13, 2006 in Washington D.C. For more info, see:

    http://www.plexusinstitute.org/NewsEvents/Conferences/show.cfm?id=180

    Thanks much, Steve, for these other resources, too ! They look very good ! I have just subscribed to Network Weaving blog. Fascinating ! Appreciated the input and the hat tip on that particular weblog. Very interesting !

  3. Thanks a lot, Anol, for dropping by and for the feedback comments and for sending the trackback to your weblog. Appreciated.

    Appreciated the heads up regarding the resources and weblog from David Snowden. Actually, I have been a big fan from him for some time now and have read many of his articles back from when he was working at IBM and till now with Cognitive-Edge, including attending a couple of conferences and workshops he has been providing and I certainly agree with you that it is certainly very much worth while a read both his weblog and the resources they have put together. Something, which, by the way, reminds me that it is time for me again to update the blogroll because I can see there it is not listed when it should since it is one of my regular feed reads. Good stuff. So will update the blogroll shortly and you will find there some other interesting readings around the same subject and KM in general. Stay tuned.

    Thanks again for the feedback and welcome to elsua!

  4. SNA can be used not just for Knowledge Management within organizations but also to analyze online communities to identify the key players within each group of users. This information is invaluable to marketers as they can run more targeted and effective marketing campaigns. One company offering this service is Idiro Technologies (www.idiro.com). The findings we have made from analyzing millions of nodes/people and the billions of links between them validate the findings of sociologists that we made on much larger data sets. So, to paraphrase Kate Ehrlich, when you want to get your product out into the marketplace, it’s not how much your customer spends but who they know (and influence).

  5. Hello Aidan ! Thanks a bunch for the feedback comments and for dropping by ! Welcome to elsua!

    You are certainly right that SNA can be a very powerful tool to help analise online communities and their key players who are mainly driving the community activities a great deal. And certainly the connection you make with marketing is, yet again, another useful tip on how you could make use of SNAs to help target audiences a lot better and perhaps a whole lot more meaningfully.

    Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences as well with Idiro Technologies as I am sure there would be plenty of folks out there who would be interested in reading some more further as to how you folks are applying SNA to those online communities in order to help target them better. Thanks again for the heads up and for the feedback ! Good stuff!

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