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I'm reading Bill Richards, et al's scintillating conversation in the
current _Connections_ (25,2) about the many foreign translations of The
International Network for Social Network Analysis when I come across a
comment on p. 106 (I think by Tad Sozansk):

"(But is insna really a network? Why not to pose this question quite

The answer is "Yes" and the word choice was serious.

I founded INSNA, and for 12 years I ran it alone out of my hip pocket.
Meetings were a lot shorter. When I founded it (you can read about its
origins in an earlier Connections or on a website), I wondered about a

I think it took me 10 seconds to decide on "Network" rather than
"Association" or "Society"?


1. It seemed less ponderous, and we were then (and even now).
2. We were a network, without meetings, constitutions, then.
3. The idea was to network each other. That's why _Connections_ took the
form it did (and still has, thanks to subsequent editors). My basic rule
was to avoid stuff that could be published in scholarly journals, but to
publish news, gossip, abstracts, book summaries (never heavy-duty
reviews), and unique articles that journals wouldn't touch. (Such as the
original, Mark Granovetter "weak ties" piece before AJS expurgated it.)
4. INSNA rarely was, or is, anyone's first disciplinary society. So we
tried to keep the dues cheap (7 bucks at the outset) and the interactions

It's a miracle that we're still succeeding!


  Barry Wellman         Professor of Sociology        NetLab Director
  wellman at

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

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