In 1960 a computer was room-sized and used for data processing. A network is what dad watched in Connecticut after selling mainframes for IBM in Manhattan all day. At the time, there were three networks – ABC, NBC and CBS.
Today, it is said there is more computer in a new cell phone than all the computer power in the world in 1960. Networks are entirely different too and have evolved as fast. Networks have come to make sense of the world in ways that were never anticipated. We have just scratched the surface.
There is an unfortunate legacy of SNA that is self-evident in its name – analysis. Reduction of abstract entities into their constituent elements can be useful, but often not when it comes to creating meaning or achieving practical benefits, for example.
The SNA name paradox is akin to the unfortunate name legacy of knowledge management. No serious KM practitioner believes knowledge can be managed any more than any serious SNA practitioner believes network structure leads to higher performance, for example.
SNS or social network synthesis is far more appropriate. It is really what soc/org/val network analysis is about and how it achieves benefits and understanding. Besides that, knowledge leadership versus management is what authentic KM represents.
Anyway, I think we are stuck with SNA and KM name legacies for a long time to come.
Thanks to Don and others for keeping it real!