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SOCNET  July 2017

SOCNET July 2017

Subject:

Re: trip down memory lane (fwd)

From:

Barry Wellman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Barry Wellman <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 09:38:17 -0400

Content-Type:

MULTIPART/Mixed

Parts/Attachments:

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TEXT/PLAIN (111 lines) , image001.jpg (111 lines)

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


Posted, with the permission of author Russ Bernard
pure nostalgia. We've come a long way, baby

[BW: Photos delete because Socnet list-serve won't accept them]
   Barry Wellman

    A vision is just a vision if it's only in your head
    Step by step, link by link, putting it together
                  Streisand/Sondheim
  _______________________________________________________________________
   NetLab Network                 FRSC                      INSNA Founder
   http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman           twitter: @barrywellman
   NETWORKED: The New Social Operating System  Lee Rainie & Barry Wellman
                        http://amzn.to/zXZg39
   _______________________________________________________________________


some background for those who have noticed that this is insna's 40th birthday 
but only sunbelt's 37th. to place all this in perspective, there are a couple 
of must-read items. first, for the big picture: read the definitive history of 
social network analysis (sna), linton freeman's 2004 book, the development of 
social network analysis. lin has posted the book on research gate 
(http://tinyurl.com/ycflqfzk) and updated it in 2011 in a chapter for the sage 
handbook of social network analysis, edited by john scott and peter harrington. 
lin posted that updated chapter on his site, here: http://tinyurl.com/yd4mnjyd

next, read the definitive history of insna -- barry wellman's 2000 article, 
"networking network analysts: how insna (the international network for social 
network analysis) came to be," in connections, and posted here 
http://tinyurl.com/yc76rpxz<https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Ftinyurl.com%2Fyc76rpxz&h=ATNFCQx-0JdxX9yv42QM4J_4h1q_j54doUFcUlaBKIpNadefUZMDzoFaXgCgZ6qKmghAl-6IGeL2FqQwIAYH4u5bvhCopNTmcLJortwTB9GxVuG_6gyNxLvQlhWQFLhy_zI8VDDNo7oHm6Z-mPIm&enc=AZNee
4qpnUZ8FaTcMNKjEMwXRkkLXxInaX0RXuEa6iDbZ6B4OtVO2jDHfz_mWMUHrzF6mobw5DwAJN9ipkZ7j2c1iFMNIhWHYbuLJzrCr4Zb9kSwNHLxNVxW9yZAsR5YOmSbLRC9E6iEXnpT-QxZ9d1jsdEUpSE9lzfaUhJaU-3NP118vmBksxupkZ4HGBQY_rQ&s=1>. 
in that article, barry talks about the informal nature of insna. it was, as 
barry said, a network, not a society or an association—which would have 
implied too much structure to get things going. eventually, though, "without an 
elaborate structure" barry noted "it was hard to get others to do any 
organizational work (other than the sunbelt conference, which always ran well 
and autonomously)."

about sunbelt -- sunbelt started the same way that insna started … no 
structure, no rules. just show up, present research papers, have a good time, 
and wait for next year to do it all again. sunbelt grew out of a series of 
conferences in the 1970s on the then-developing field of sna. the conferences 
were started by lin freeman … peter killworth and i hosted two conferences at 
cheat lake, west virginia, one in 1973 and one in 1974. i had another grant 
from the mathematical social science board (mssb)of the social science research 
council to hold a third at the cheat lake hide-away in 1975 … as it happened, 
sam leinhardt and paul holland had also received a grant from the mssb. they 
were planning a much bigger conference. we combined our resources and the two 
teams (holland/leinhardt, bernard/killworth) co-hosted the 1975 conference, at 
dartmouth

all of the formative conferences were supported by grants, so, perforce, only a 
subset of the growing population of sna researchers could attend any one of the 
conferences … meanwhile, starr roxanne hiltz and murray turoff were working 
on implementing turrof's idea for a communication system that would allow 
scientists to communicate through computers. hiltz and turoff called their 
system the electronic information exchange system, eies, pronouncd "eyes" … 
nsf called for proposals from scholars in different disciplines to set up 
experimental communication networks. lin freeman landed one of those grants and 
set up group 35 on the eies network (there were 35 sna researchers in the 
original group). all the members of group 35 were invited to lehigh university 
for a day of orientation and then the eies experiment began in 1977-78.

in the summer of 1979, i moved from west virginia university to the university 
of florida, in gainesville. al wolfe had moved a few years earlier to the 
university of south florida, in tampa, about 125 miles from gainesville. al and 
i were both on eies and when the chatter on the net turned to the problem of 
where the next conference(s) would be, al and i offered to do something 
different: we invited people to come to tampa in february (when people in the 
north would be looking for an excuse to get away from the winter) without any 
support from grants – just come as you are, pay your own transport and room 
and board, and we'll supply a venue and a program. 35 people showed up in 1981 
– not the 35 who were on eies – and when the conference was over, people 
asked al and i if we'd run it again -- same time, same place -- in 1982. this 
time, 70 people showed up. the conference moved to san diego in 1983 (doug 
white), to phoenix in 1984 (brian foster), and so on …

in 1988, barry turned over the editorship of connections to al wolfe and susan 
greenbaum. in his opening editorial, al wolfe assured readers: "we will not 
attempt to change anything in 1988, having taken over at midyear and 
mid-volume, so to speak. hopefully, the advisory boards that already exist will 
continue to function."

al went on to say: "in time, we hope that insna will be sufficiently organized 
to serve us all better by way of organizing conferences and workshops in 
addition to the sun belt social network conference. even the sbsnc might 
benefit from closer affiliation with insna, because each year we run the risk 
that the volunteer organizers might not get all the arrangements made in time, 
get all the announcement out in time, etc. it looks like we'll be all right for 
february 1989. jeff johnson is putting out announcements for the conference at 
the very location where the first two were held in 1981 and 1982, the bay 
harbor inn in tampa . please help jeff get the word out to everybody, and don't 
forget to get your own abstract in to him at east carolina university, 
greenville, n .c."

and so it went … insna got its structure; sunbelt became an isna-sponsored 
event, and here we are another three decades on, and insna's sunbelt conference 
is the conference so many of us look forward to every year because, as barry 
says, it's not just a name.


_____________________________________________________________________
SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
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