cck08: Introduction to social network analysis

October 22, 2008 at 7:33 pm 1 comment

Finally found some time to listen to Valdis Krebs‘ talk about his work with social networks analysis.

There are various interesting aspects that Krebs has highlighted in his work over the years. I have always worked with information and networking so this topic resonated with me. I could go off in different tangents based on what Krebs spoke about but what is of particular note was the the visualisation of online networks. The center core is highly connected and inter-related, and the next tier is individuals small groups and they are all surrounded by masses of unconnected individuals lurking about (in some cases Krebs cited up to 80 to 90% of the “network”).

image showing distribution of online network

image showing distribution of online network - Copyright Valdis Krebs

The key point of Krebs’ talk is that network representation of phenomenon, people, etc can literally be mapped or visualised. However the real value of network representation as asserted by Krebs lies in deconstructing complexities of the elements or persons in the networks.

To a certain extent, the analysis of social networks offers some insights into the frequency and interactions of the nodes in the networks and may have some use/application. However such quantitative mapping/analysis still requires good qualititative data for the analysis to become meaningful.

Yes, the core of social networks is highly connected and interacting well – how valuable or insightful are the quality of the flows? Again, the balance to drive the quantity of interactions with an eye on the quality of such “connections”. At one point, Krebs asked the group in the session to pick between two visual networks as to which one was associated with “terrorism“. I think he said it was hard to tell which was which just by looking at the visuals.

At this point while Krebs work is fascinating and I see the importance of social networks and analysis, I have to confess that I haven’t quite worked out how it fits into connectivism. No ah ha as yet.

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cck08 Of networks and networked learning

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. CCK08: Coming to Know « Clyde Street  |  October 27, 2008 at 6:49 am

    […] read Ariel’s conjecture about the non-appearance of teachers and commented on his post. Bits n Bites took me back to Valdis Krebs. Adrian Hill’s post encouraged me to find and read my copy of […]

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