Friday, June 29, 2007

NNT, Day 2 plenary

Ok, back to the present, and more catch up later. Today we start with Nosh Contractor talking about the motives that drive people to participate in social networks--there are lots of possible reasons, some economic, some social, mixed, etc. He is doing research to collect lots of data on motives with the aim of creating a "contextual 'meta-theory' of social drivers for creating and sustaining communities."

He identifies different kinds of theories and their claims, and different kinds of motives these theories focus on.

Collecting data and testing different theories has been difficult until now, because of the web/internet, being able to see the connections and also the behavior and motives as made visible not just in links but also in posts, tags, etc. "It's all about 'Relational Metadata'" --ref Katy Borner.

Some tools available now for text-mining, web-crawling, web of science citation data that can let us develop multi-dimensional network models. --I need to check one he's demonstrating called Crawdad; sounds really interesting. Next he shows several examples of how his research group analysed several networks and helped them be better connected, and wraps up reiterating how a multidimensional model that includes many kinds of connections and nodes helps us better understand networks. Cool.

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