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Rick and Justin,

I'm following this thread with interest.  A possible problem with building
SNA modules for contact management/content management/customer
relationship management (I'm lumping these all together) such as
Drupal/SugarCRM/Highrise is that you might be faced with a "silo" problem
- will SNA routines for SugarCRM be available for analysing the buddy list
from Drupal/Highrise, or vice-versa?  Probably not.

The problem of inter-operability between silos is also being talked about
in the context of social networking sites such as facebook/myspace etc.

Another solution might be a stand-alone, web-based application that can be
used to conduct network analysis (SNA, visualisation etc.) of network data
generated from tools such as Drupal/SugarCRM/Highrise.

This would fit with the Unix philosophy (which may not be everyone's
cup-of-tea, but which I personally find useful): "Write programs that do
one thing and do it well. Write programs to work together."
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unix_philosophy)

So you would need Drupal/SugarCRM/Highrise exporting network data in some
open standard such as GraphML (http://graphml.graphdrawing.org/) that
could then be imported into the web-based network analysis tool.

Ideally, you would get rid of the manual exporting/importing step (which
would be a pain, especially if the network is changing frequently) using
web services so you could have the third-party network analysis tool
available as a "widget" or portlet within the contact management software.
This is getting us into the area of e-Research/cyberinfrastructure - see
http://www.ncess.ac.uk/ for useful material.

I would like to draw to your attention an interesting project that is
focusing on the issue of tool/data interoperability in the search engine
space, which is relevant to the issues I mention above.  The October Linux
Journal article by Doc Searles (http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/9811)
is on a new project of Jeremie Miller (inventor of the Jabber instant
messaging protocol) titled "Atlas".  Atlas will be a new open-source
search infrastructure featuring "...open distributed grids, open
algorithms, open rankings, open networks of people cooperating to provide
resources."  Miller has recently joined the Wikia Project to work on
Atlas.

To finish, I would like to (of course) mention my own efforts in this
area: Virtual Observatory for the Study of Online Networks
(http://voson.anu.edu.au).

Best wishes,

Rob

-------------------------------------
Dr Robert Ackland
Fellow, Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute
College of Arts and Social Sciences
The Australian National University

e-mail:       [log in to unmask]
homepage:     http://adsri.anu.edu.au/people/robert.php
project site: http://voson.anu.edu.au
ph./fax/mob.: +61 2 6125 0312/+61 2 6125 2992/+61 438 833 525
mail:         Coombs Building, 9
              Canberra, ACT 0200
              AUSTRALIA
-------------------------------------

On Tue, 18 Dec 2007, Justin Kirby wrote:

>*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
>
>Rick ... sounds like we are on the same page. Not sure that NING is a
>workable solution because although you can create a private network the
>contacts have to be registered to NING by having their email addresses
>validated. Also any contact added is also part of the wider NING
>network.
>
>Having spoken to a few people on this list. It seems like this is a
>possible route:
>
>(37 Signals) HighRiseHQ (Contact Managment)  >>> Buddy List >>> SNA
>Module
>
>There's an API for HighRise:
>
>http://developer.37signals.com/highrise/
>
>Novák Áron has create a SNA module in Drupal:
>
>http://drupal.org/node/60614
>
>However, some other SNA module could be used like Valdis Kreb's Java-based one.
>
>There's also a Drupal Buddy List module:
>
>http://drupal.org/handbook/modules/buddylist
>
>
>Drupal is not everyone's cup of tea though, and so another option would
>be some SugerCRM solution with SNA module and Q-Industries could build
>you one but it would be bespoke.
>
>In the meantime, I've asked some developers to look into the route above
>(e.g. HighRiseHQ >>> Buddy List >>> SNA Module
>
>But if anyone else knows some Drupal developers then let me know as I'm
>helping a not-for-profit that has this requirement.
>
>
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From:	Social Networks Discussion Forum on behalf of Rick Davies
>Sent:	Tue 12/18/2007 7:22 PM
>To:	[log in to unmask]
>Cc:	
>Subject:	Re: [SOCNET] Integrating social network analysis and contact management in the same software
>
>*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
>
>Hi all
>
>It may be useful for me to present more on the background context of my
>earlier inquiry, because others may be interested in the same challenge
>
>Many NGOs become involved in advocacy work, both within specific countries
>and on the international stage. As well as public awareness raising, they
>also need to engage in lobbying of specific organisations and specific
>people within them. To do this effectively they need to accumulate
>information about the targets of their lobbying work, and their
>relationships with each other, and relevant others. (Those people will not
>obligingly join social network sites!) Although some knowledge is likely to
>be "inherited" from previous experiences,  NGO staff, in effect, start off
>with a model of who is connected to whom and how so, that hopefully then
>gets progressively infilled by factual information, over time. In many cases
>these models remain in staff members' heads, are only partially shared with
>others and are rarely well documented. This must limit NGOs effectiveness
>
>In these circumstances, it could be very useful for NGOs to be able to find
>user friendly software that functioned as a contact management database, but
>which also documented hypothesised and  known relationships between
>contacts, and included a network visualisation capacity.
>
>I think there could be a significant demand for such software, either as PC
>based, or preferably web base, to allow collaborative development of maps of
>networks of common concern, and associated data on the individual actors in
>those networks
>
>regards, rick davies
>
>On Dec 18, 2007 6:05 PM, Rick Davies <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> Hi all
>>
>> Some time ago I posted a query re the availability of contact management
>> software that had a SNA dimension: that enabled representations of
>> relationships between people in the database, not just information about
>> each of the individuals in the database
>>
>> It has since occurred to me that a reverse approach could be taken (and
>> someone suggested this I think)...one could set up a private social network,
>> using Ning <http://www.ning.com/> for example, where all the data on the
>> actors was (at least initially) entered by the network manager, along with
>> data on their relationships with each other. Similar management rights could
>> be extended to others in one's team who were working together on a task that
>> required a collated view of who all one's contacts were, and their
>> inter-relationships.
>>
>> What I am now interested to know is whether any of the social networking
>> services offer network visualisation plugins, whereby the relationship data
>> in these privately managed networks could be visualised, as by NetDraw or
>> the like.
>>
>> Is anyone aware of any social networking services that do this?
>>
>> PS: Some people have posted questions/comments to me on this general issue
>> in the last few weeks, that I may not have responded to (because on
>> holidays). To those people, please feel free to send me a reminder re-post
>>
>> regards, rick davies
>>
>> --
>> Rick Davies (Dr),
>> Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
>> Mobile:  (44) 07855 766 354, Skype: rickjdavies,
>> Email: [log in to unmask]
>> Monitoring and Evaluation NEWS at http://www.mande.co.uk
>> Rick on the Road at http://www.mandenews.blogspot.com
>> Homepage at http://www.shimbir.demon.co.uk
>
>
>
>
>-- 
>Rick Davies (Dr),
>Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
>Mobile:  (44) 07855 766 354, Skype: rickjdavies,
>Email: [log in to unmask]
>Monitoring and Evaluation NEWS at http://www.mande.co.uk
>Rick on the Road at http://www.mandenews.blogspot.com
>Homepage at http://www.shimbir.demon.co.uk
>
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