Thursday, November 7, 2002

Ross Mayfield on Social Networking

From Ross Mayfield’s blog:

Mapping Trust and Other Social Networks.

The seminal article I mentioned in my post on Trust Networks that lays out 3 networks (Trust, Advice, Communication) is Informal Networks: The Company Behind the Chart by David Krackhardt and Jeffery Hanson, HBR 1993. 

Karen Stephenson lays out 6 networks which overlap with the original 3.  Her Work Network and Learning Network are similar to their Communication Networks.  Her Social Network and Strategic Network are similar to their Trust Networks.  Her Expert Knowledge Network and Innovation Network are similar to their Advice Networks.

Her identification of different modes of inter-personal relationships is invaluable, and based on significant experience, but of course increases the complexity of analysis.  The cost of social network analysis is also furthered by reliance on surveys for data, which are one-off rather than continous or automatic.  Benefits of social network analysis are also hampered by the current means of presenting results, usually in the form of a report or consultation with select managers.

The real value in social network analysis will be realized when the process is automated to realize the speed required for map these dynamic networks and continous to realize nested feedback loops. [Ross Mayfield’s Weblog]

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