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SOCNET  September 2006

SOCNET September 2006

Subject:

Re: Definition of community Rather than asking other people to do your research......

From:

Shannon Clark <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Shannon Clark <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 19 Sep 2006 18:56:39 -0700

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text/plain

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*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****

Actually Google has a project in their labs that is close - it is
called Google Co-op - see http://www.google.com/coop

"Google Co-op is a platform which enables you to use your expertise to
help other users find information."

More generally there is also a question of general, widespread
accepted concepts/definitions and how a term is used by a specific
author for a specific article. Many terms, "community" I'd say being
one of them, mean different things to different people - and take on
different meanings when discussed in a variety of contexts (or when
used as part of a related term such as "community of practice")

I think the question "is there an commonly accepted definition/measure
that defines a community?" is an interesting one. I can envision many
different definitions as well as a lot of issues with mapping between
the measures gathered and studied by a given network analysis and the
possibly broader question of defining "communities".

i.e. do you have to have active, frequent social ties to be "part of
the community?" Is the "community" only one cluster of social
relations? What about the question of the types of relationships? or
the contexts of those relationships (i.e. two families in a given town
might feud with each other - but might still band together against
"outsiders")? Can you define "community" in a way that is not
either/or (i.e. can you be part of more than one community? a part of
no community? Does membership in one community exclude you by
definition from some other communities?) Can you be a part of a
community you are not aware that you are a part of? (i.e. does the
definition need to include self-definition or acknowledgement? or is
community something that you can join without realizing it?)

Just thinking about life around me and my own interactions with others
(and/or those I study and observe) I can see many ways of answering
these questions - many of which are dependant on the context of the
question and research. One of the challenges (and advantages) of
network research is that it crosses lots of disciplines. How a term
such as "community" might be usefully defined and employed when
studying and analyzing business or economics may differ from how
"community" is studied by political scientists or sociologists.

So, beyond the useful suggestions of cite research sites (or google)
does anyone have definitions for community that address any (all?) of
these questions?

Shannon

On 9/19/06, Alvin Chin <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
>
> I just want to add that even though yes, Google does help in doing
> research and finding papers, you have to read those papers and access
> them to see if they're relevant or not.  It takes people to determine
> that, because there is that cognitive element that search engines
> don't have.  Another suggestion is to go to http://citeulike.org which
> basically is a del.icio.us site for papers and references.  People tag
> references and make comments and then you can see if others also cite
> the same paper.  You can do a search on a particular tag let's same
> community, and see what other papers people have read on community.
>
> We need to have some sort of social search capability, Eurekster kind
> of started that, where you use other people's search to feed your own
> search.  Google doesn't have that, and I one time mentioned this to
> one of Google's managers when he came to U of T for a talk.  He kind
> of shrugged it off.  Human beings are social beings, we like to engage
> and talk with other people.  People will give their suggestions and
> their input from their own experience.  Can Google do that?
>
> OK, end of rant.
>
> Alvin
>
> On 9/19/06, Paul B. Hartzog <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
> >
> > On 9/19/06, Bill.Richards <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > > *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
> > >
> > > Rather than asking other people to do your research, do it yourself.
> >
> > "I don't read anymore; I just talk to people who have." — Dr. Tom
> > Malloy, University of Utah
> >
> > Dr. Malloy's tongue-in-cheek comment sparked an interesting
> > conversation about… well… conversation. When two people have a
> > conversation, they act as proxies for the many ideas in their heads
> > which are drawn from the many things they have read. In effect, a
> > conversation is a many-to-many interaction that is both mediated and
> > moderated by the participants. The individuals catalog, sort, tag, and
> > filter ideas as they are drawn into the shared space of the
> > conversation.
> >
> > http://many.corante.com/archives/2005/09/11/the_power_of_conversation.php
> >
> >
> > Email lists are for conversation; conversation IS research.  I see
> > nothing untoward with asking here on the list.
> >
> > --------------------------------------------------------
> > http://www.paulbhartzog.org
> > http://www.panarchy.com
> > [log in to unmask]
> > [log in to unmask]
> > --------------------------------------------------------
> > The Universe is made up of stories, not atoms.
> >                  --Muriel Rukeyser
> > --------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > _____________________________________________________________________
> > 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
> > UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.
> >
>
> _____________________________________________________________________
> 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
> UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.
>

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