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There is, of course, a long standing debate in the CMC (computer-mediated
communication) and Internet research areas about whether online ties, relations,
communities, etc. are as 'real' as offline. You can find a number of papers on
this in this book and a review in the introduction ...
Wellman, B. & Haythornthwaite, C. (Eds.) (2002). The Internet in Everyday Life.
Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers.
Plus many studies by Barry Wellman and colleagues, and by myself on online
social networks. This paper provides an overview of some of this work.
Haythornthwaite, C. (2005). Social networks and Internet connectivity effects.
Information, Communication & Society, 8(2), 125-147.
---- Original message ----
>Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2006 17:17:51 -0700
>From: "Joshua O'Madadhain" <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: Re: Validity of network ties
>To: [log in to unmask]
>***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org *****
>On 9/29/06, Cora Schaefer <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> ***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org *****
>> Dear all,
>> the discussion here on network structure and patterns was very intriguing.
>> In a similar vein, I'm trying to find literature that discuss the validity
>> of infering "real" social networks from online data.
>I think that phrasing things in this way may not be very productive.
>As I see it, a social network is a mental construct; it's a particular
>way of representing, and thinking about, certain kinds of data.
>In particular, in order to construct a (social) network you have to
>define what you mean by the entities and the connections between them.
>I'm guessing that by "real" social networks you may mean something
>like "networks which represent in-person, face-to-face
>interactions/relationships". I would say that this kind of network is
>neither more or less "real" than a network which is based on email
>interactions, or IM logs, or coauthorship of papers, none of which
>need involve any in-person contact at all.
>You can certainly ask the question "to what extent can we infer links
>social networks derived from data type A, based on social networks
>derived from data type B?" (as long as you specify what A and B are);
>I think that this is an interesting question, is much better defined,
>and doesn't imply any particular bias as to the "reality" of either
>> A search on google.scholar did not turn up much. I've read the articles by
>> danah boyd about the public displays of connection and wonder if there are
>> similar articles. Can somebody point me in this direction?
>> Thanks a lot in advance!
>> Cora Schaefer
>> Dipl.-Psych. Cora Schaefer
>> Informationsdienste und elektronische Märkte
>> Fakultät für Wirtschaftwissenschaften
>> Universität Karlsruhe (TH)
>> D - 76128 Karlsruhe
>> Gebäude 20.20 RZ (Raum 152), Zirkel 2
>> Telefon: +49.721.608-8444
>> Telefax: +49.721.608-8403
>> [log in to unmask]
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> Joshua O'Madadhain: Information Scientist, Musician, Philosopher-At-Tall
>It's that moment of dawning comprehension that I live for. -- Bill Watterson
> My opinions are too rational and insightful to be those of any organization.
>SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
>network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send
>an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
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Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
501 East Daniel St., Champaign IL 61820
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