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Hello. I have been collecting data on transaction on online used AV (audio and visual) market. In this market, a seller post a message which includes a basic information on his or her commodity, price, a method of transaction and payment. Potential buyers post inquiries and their bidding and a seller posts a result once a deal is made.
Since every message and transaction is posted on the message board, it is possible to collect data literally from the beginning of the market to the present.
I want to analyze the 'social structure' of such online market (the extent to which clientelization occurs, the emergence of subgroups and structural positions, etc.) and also the evolution of market structure.
Now, I have two main problems.
First, the network size.
Although it is not as big as eBay, the amount of transactions is relatively big and, consequently, the network size is pretty big. For one month, the size of a transaction network of participants (who transacts with whom) is about 1000 X 1000. Also, the network is relatively sparse. I ran UCINET, Pajek, Mage program, it is not easy to interpret the outputs.
Second, the changes of the network.
Although participating in the market requires a membership, it is free and easy to get one. In any particular period, new people show up. I want to examine the evolution of network structure, but the size and participants of the market are constantly changing period by period. It's been about a year since the market started.
It would be a big help if someone could suggest previous network studies on a relatively large and sparse network whose size and participants are changing. Also, a better way to represent such network visually and network measures for a large and sparse network would be appreciated.
All the best,
Depart of Sociology
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