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SOCNET  February 2003

SOCNET February 2003

Subject:

MAPPING-CYBERSPACE Digest - 4 Feb 2003 to 6 Feb 2003 (#2003-10) (fwd)

From:

Barry Wellman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Barry Wellman <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 6 Feb 2003 20:04:18 -0500

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

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*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/  *****

Thought you might find interesting to find what a few cyberfolk are saying
about social networks (although not social network analysis).

 Barry -- c u on the beach next week.
 ___________________________________________________________________

  Barry Wellman        Professor of Sociology       NetLab Director
  [log in to unmask]   http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman

  Centre for Urban & Community Studies        University of Toronto
  455 Spadina Avenue   Toronto Canada M5S 2G8   fax:+1-416-978-7162

 -------------------------------------------------------------------
           *** Now Out: _The Internet in Everyday Life_ ***
           Barry Wellman & Caroline Haythornthwaite, editors
                       Oxford: Blackwell, 2002
 ___________________________________________________________________

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 7 Feb 2003 00:09:29 +0000
From: Automatic digest processor <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: Mapping and visualising Internet infrastructure and Web space
    <[log in to unmask]>
To: Recipients of MAPPING-CYBERSPACE digests
    <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: MAPPING-CYBERSPACE Digest - 4 Feb 2003 to 6 Feb 2003 (#2003-10)

There is one message totalling 167 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

  1. Inf@Vis! num. 113: Visualising Social Interaction (fwd)

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date:    Thu, 6 Feb 2003 11:34:25 +0000
From:    martin dodge <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Inf@Vis! num. 113: Visualising Social Interaction (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 3 Feb 2003 23:14:44 +0100
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Inf@Vis! num. 113: Visualising Social Interaction

Inf@Vis!

The digital magazine of InfoVis.net.
[Number 113]

Visualising Social Interaction
by Juan C. D=FCrsteler

Social interaction provides us with visual patterns that help us to situate=
 ourselves in our environment. In Internet, however, this doesn=92t happen =
so easily. Some visualisations are appearing to remedy the problem.

See the illustrated version of this issue at http://www.infovis.net/E-zine/=
2003/num_113.htm

Social interaction produces many visual patterns we are so used to that we =
don=92t notice them. But they provide us with indispensable information in =
order for us to navigate our social environment.

Some of these patterns deal with the flux of human activity, like the colou=
rful scene of the bathers in a swimming pool or the appearance of the mushr=
oom-shaped silhouettes of the umbrellas in a rainy afternoon. They allow us=
 to situate and to coordinate our behaviour with that of the environment. H=
aven=92t you ever felt strange dressed in a dinner jacket on a nudist beach=
, or wearing a swimming suit at a Christmas party?

Other visual patterns are related to affiliation, like the one made up of  =
the business suits getting off  a commuter train early in the morning. We c=
reate these and many other patterns just by standing where we stand and bei=
ng what we are. This is what some call =93social weather=94 http://www.kott=
ke.org/02/09/020930social_weath.html, something that you can feel immediate=
ly in a soccer match where it can sometimes be really stormy  depending on =
the results of the local team...

But in cyberspace the social interaction is becoming more and more importan=
t and we don=92t have the indicators that the visualisation of our immediat=
e environment provides. For example, when we are at the office a simple loo=
k around at our environment allows us to know who is present and who isn=92=
t, the ones that are interacting and the ones that are buried in solitary w=
ork.

Not so in Internet where it=92s not easy to know what the social network we=
 are interacting with is like, who is doing what and where the social magma=
 we are incorporated in goes.

Some initiatives are working on this in order to remedy the situation. We a=
lready spoke  about chat visualisation in  issue 46 (http://www.infovis.net=
/E-zine/num_46.htm) or about digital cities in issue 102 (http://www.infovi=
s.net/E-zine/2002/num_102.htm), But there=92s still more:

A good starting point is Judith Donat=92s PhD thesis , http://smg.media.mit=
=2Eedu/people/Judith/Thesis/. Donath works for MIT Media Lab and is one of =
the most active researchers in this field. For her, one of cyberspace=92s m=
ost important problems is the absence of a body that in the social reality =
provides us with the possibility of

* Expression:  Verbal but mainly non verbal. How we move, how we dress.

* Presence. Where we are, with whom, in which social circle we are moving.

* Control. Social control of individuals has been centred on the body but i=
t is lacking in cyberspace...

* Recognition. Typically associated to the face, it allows us to assert the=
 others identity.

So that many of the visualisations are centred on the representation of
* presence, how many  there are
* identity, who they are
* interaction in abstract, who relates to whom
* conversation as exchange of messages

The most evident schemes draw the social networks as graphs, i.e. nodes rep=
resenting the actors and lines or arrows that represent the link between th=
em. One of the most well known is the typical organization chart of a compa=
ny. A more advanced example http://www.mpi-fg-koeln.mpg.de/%7Elk/netvis/Soc=
Morph.html shows the so called Hxaro practice of exchanging gifts among the=
 members of the =A1Kung culture in Botswana and Namibia.

Chat Circles http://chatcircles.media.mit.edu/ by Fernanda Viegas, is a cha=
t where your presence is revealed by a coloured circle, you have a history =
of the conversation in the form of a line with transversal bars proportiona=
l in length to the duration of every message. Your presence leaves a trace =
that vanishes slowly taking about 10 hours in the process.

We have also seen  in issues 65, 66 and 67 the visualisation of the visits =
to a web site, but Nelson Minar offers us a different perspective in http:/=
/xenia.media.mit.edu/~nelson/research/crowdvis/. Every visitor is a coloure=
d point close to the web page he/she is visiting.

Visual Who,  http://persona.www.media.mit.edu/Judith/VisualWho/, from Judit=
h Donath, places the people in a space related to certain mailing lists. Th=
e colour of the names and their situation in space reveal the affinity with=
 each of the lists. As new participants add new themes the morphology of th=
e representation changes.

IBM=92s =93Social Computing=94 group is also specially active. Babble http:=
//www.research.ibm.com/SocialComputing/SCGpapers.htm is a chat visualiser t=
hat represent every conversation as a circle where you find smaller inscrib=
ed circles that represent the individuals. The more in the periphery the le=
ss active in the conversation, the closer they are, the more involved in mu=
tual conversation.

As we can see there are multiple ongoing initiatives. Nevertheless and desp=
ite the activity deployed by Donath=92s group, IBM and other groups and the=
 richness of some representations, I=92ve got the impression that we still =
have a long road ahead before we can interact on the Net with a visual supp=
ort so rich and versatile so as to allow the deployment of the abundant res=
ources of social interaction we are used to in the real  world.

------
This article has seen the light thanks to a conversation with Ben Hyde http=
://hydesign.blogspot.com who was also kind enough to provide a handful of l=
inks, some of which you can find attached.

Sociable Media Group MIT
http://smg.media.mit.edu/
Contact map
http://hci.stanford.edu/cs377/nardi-schiano/netWORK%26ContactMap.pdf
Bonnie Nardi
http://www.darrouzet-nardi.net/bonnie/
Virtual Playground: Architectures for a Shared Virtual World http://www.hit=
l.washington.edu/publications/r-98-12/
Orgnet's - Inflow software see: http://radio.weblogs.com/0114726/2003/01/02=
=2Ehtml#a176
Jonathan Schull's Macroscope Manifesto
http://radio.weblogs.com/0104369/stories/2002/04/09/macroscope022702.htm
IdeasBazaar
http://www.ideasbazaar.co.uk/Linkship.pps
http://www.ideasbazaar.co.uk/blog/archives/cat_networks.html#000048
Spring
http://www.usercreations.com/spring/
visual p-wiki's
http://c2.com/cgi/tour
http://phpwiki.sourceforge.net/phpwiki/VisualWiki

__________________________________________________________
=A9 J.C. D=FCrsteler 2000 - 2002, Barcelona, Spain.
All rights reserved

http://www.infovis.net

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------------------------------

End of MAPPING-CYBERSPACE Digest - 4 Feb 2003 to 6 Feb 2003 (#2003-10)
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