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PDA 2012: Social Network Data

February 23, 2012

First after-lunch session at PDA 2012 on Social Network Data. Let’s get to it.

Arc-chiving: saving social links for study by Marc A. Smith at Social Media Research Foundation
This is the “what’s new since last year talk.” Trying to build the “Firefox of GraphML” open tools for collecting and visualizing social media data to show patterns of connections. Open tool: NodeXL (works with Excel 2007 and Excel 2010). Creating a platform for sharing data sets: NodeXLGraphGallery.

“2011 was the year of the crowd.” Many, many people gathered in crowds in social media. Through using the NodeXL tools, you can see the social networks and online community connections. [Nice visualizations for doing analyses]

Publishing on taxonomy of social media (lots of work on open scholarship). Lots of stuff still to do. More workshops are coming so keep an eye out for them and new features/tools/etc..

Need to get companies and people to play together in order to truly be able to document social media networks and connections. [I think there are a lot of conversations that need to happen around privacy, social good, connections, research, preservation, etc. in order to move these kind of programs forward.]

Personal Interaction Archiving: Saving our Attitudes, Beliefs, and Interests by Megan Alicia Winget of UT Austin

“Thing” based behavior of looking at archiving things (e.g. objects) versus interaction based behavior (e.g. Foursquare and Yelp). Many options for archiving and preserving their interactions online. Winget is giving a theoretical talk instead of tool-based talk.

Bookmarking as a new type of commonplace book. “Everything old is new again.” Commonplace book= place to store quotes, excerpts, etc. in journal form. Using bookmarking tools is a way of returning to an early way of reading and writing, skipping around and reading many things at once. Remixing, annotating, etc. are very old ideas. People now annotate and highlight through ebook tools and can share them, if they choose to do so. Readers are having “wordless conversations” through their annotations.

Need to think about ownership and representation when looking at uploaded annotations. Need to think about ownership versus licensing in the online and digital world. Need to understand the relationships among people, artifacts, and their interactions.

Take Home Messages
Studying social media is important and you can use NodeXL to study connections and visualize the connections. Very interesting and useful for researchers interested in social media and online social connections. Need to think about things and interactions in order to truly document and preserve the context of our lives and our communities.

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