***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** On a practical note it is often hard/unknowable to determine how many people get a specific group directed email - some lists allow people to stay members but not get emails (Yahoo! Groups and other web based groups for example) - many other lists allow for digesting of emails - which would, I'd guess, complicated considerably the analysis of the digest - some people got the individual emails, many others the digest, the contents of which are "from" multiple parties, to multiple parties - group memberships change over time. Simple example is as people are hired/fired/transferred within an organization, however memberships can and do change for many other reasons, shifting interests for example. Yet in most cases studying accurately the group membership may be unknowable (i.e. not logged anywhere/logs deleted) - in many cases there is a human actor (or more complicated multiple human actors) who "moderate" the list, i.e. approve/disapprove/edit emails prior to their delivery to the group. In these cases I would imagine that if knowable it would be useful to track that moderation - however moderation is quite often anonymous - some lists transform/edit/modify the messages (sometimes in complex ways). Simplest example is the transformation of text to HTML and the insertion of advertising messages done by groups such as Yahoo! Groups. However many other lists change the behavior of messages with attachments (dropped by digests in most cases). While these transformations are frequently ignored by the human receivers (when was the last time the ad from a Yahoo! Group message registered) from a technical analysis standpoint these transformations matter. In part these transformations and modifications also suggest that while tricky it would be valuable to map how messages received are retained (and whether or not they are read) within a group. i.e. if everyone within an organization's email and email archives were available for study, you could look at who read and who did not read messages sent to a group. You could also look at who chose what form to get the messages and what they then did with them (i.e. the person who gets each message as an individual note and who then frequently does something with those messages (forwards them, replies to the group, replies to the author, etc) clearly has a different interaction with that group (or at least some subset of it) than the person who upon getting messages has the automatically filed into a group, where they sit for months unread and unopened. As part of that analysis it might also be possible to look for correlations of blocks of text across messages. This would match sent mail with the received-from-group mail group members received (note in many cases the author of a message sent to a group may not, themselves, receive a copy of that message). This matching of blocks would also capture in some meaningful manner the many cases where some content was repackaged, as a quote for example, within an outbound communication from one of the readers of a given site. Shannon Founder, MeshForum "Connecting Networks" www.meshforum.org Join us for MeshForum 2006 - May 7-9 2006 333 W. North Ave #160, Chicago IL 60610 [log in to unmask] W. 1.800.454.4929 C. 1.312.296.5034 Skype: rycaut -----Original Message----- From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of David Gibson Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2005 12:02 PM To: [log in to unmask] Subject: Re: Question about "Group" ***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** Isaac, If you're aiming to do a conventional analysis of the resulting network, you have to decide whether to treat a group-directed remark as entailing simultaneous communications from ego to each alter, or one communication from ego to a fictitious group actor (another column in the matrix -- though perhaps not one from which communications can issue), or a communication to no one at all. My preference has been to treat group-directed remarks and ambiguously-directed remarks identically, mainly because they can be difficult to distinguish in practice. Daniel McFarland, in contrast, prefers to think of a group-directed remark in terms of simultaneously activated dyadic channels. His solution is more compatible with conventional network measures and visualization. If you're just aggregating through time, you might divide by the number of people to whom an utterance was simultaneously directed, so that a direct remark from me to you would add 1 to the i,j cell, while a remark from me to a group of ten people (excluding myself) would add .1 to each i,j cell. Of course, interpretation will be tricky, for instance of centrality if you don't buy the implicit phenomenology behind that weighting. Another option would be to analyze the network of directed remarks and tendencies toward group-directed remarks separately. Whichever approach you take, be warned that if you're aggregating through time in order to generate one summary matrix of who spoke to whom, you're at risk of eliding sequential dependencies, such as the fact that it's hard to address someone who didn't recently speak. In my view, time-collapsed who-to-whom matrices are partially artifacts of those kinds of sequential effects. Some references: Gibson, David R. 2005. "Taking Turns and Talking Ties: Network Structure and Conversational Sequences." American Journal of Sociology (forthcoming May issue, I hope). Moody, James, Daniel McFarland, and Skye Bender-deMoll. 2005. "Dynamic Network Visualization." American Journal of Sociology 110:1206-41. David Gibson -- David Gibson Assistant Professor Department of Sociology Harvard University 564 William James Hall 33 Kirkland Street Cambridge, MA 02138 Voice: (617) 495-3825 Fax: (617) 496-5794 http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/soc/faculty/gibson/ Quoting "Van Patten, Isaac T" <[log in to unmask]>: > ***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** > > In analyzing the communications matrix of a group meeting (who addresses > whom) is it legitimate to include "Group" as a recipient of > communications addressed to the group as whole in a directional network? > > _____________________________________________________________________ SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social network researchers (http://www.insna.org). 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