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I hope you will be interested in the following information about the
NodeXL<> project
from the Social Media Research Foundation <>!

   NodeXL is the free and open add-in for Excel that supports network o
verview, discovery and exploration.  The code and application can be found
at  Technical questions can be asked on our
discussion boards on the Codeplex site at

  A collection of social media network maps created with NodeXL can be found

     [image: 4971926421_d7282845d2_m.jpg]

        NodeXL supports the exploration of social media with import features
that pull data from personal email indexes on the desktop, twitter, flickr,
youtube, facebook and WWW hyper-links.

         NodeXL allows non-programmers to quickly generate useful network
statistics and metrics and create visualizations of network graphs.
 Filtering and display attributes can be used to highlight important
structures in the network.

  General NodeXL news can be found at: and a
recent video and slide deck describing the application of NodeXL to generate
social media maps can be found at:

A video tutorial for NodeXL can be found at:

A manuscript tutorial guide to NodeXL created at the University of Maryland,
College of Information Studies can be found at

A book Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL:
from a connected world is available from

  [image: 2010-Book-Analyzing-Social-Media-Networks-with-NodeXL-Cover.jpg]

Supporting data sets can be found at

Recent slide decks describing NodeXL can be found at: and
.  Video from the PDF2010 presentation is available at:

NodeXL allows for the import of network data in the form of edge lists,
matricies, graphML, UCINet, and Pajek files along with CSV and other

Recent features added to NodeXL include faster metrics calculation,
automated graph processing, larger data sets, new layouts, scales, axes, and

 NodeXL (v. allows for scheduled data collection for standing
queries from a desktop server that can be triggered from Windows Scheduler.

NodeXL (v. provides automated processing of a network, set the
configurations once and you can apply the set of steps to hundreds of other
graphs with a few clicks.

NodeXL (v. provides features for collecting nodes into groups and
to collapse and expand those groups.

                         Recent NodeXL Topics and Features

    > Graph Process Automation
        > Scheduled collection/desktop server
        > Group by cluster, connected components, and manual
        > Groups collapse/expand
        > Group metrics
        > Selective data mapping in Autofill columns
        > Better edge label control, conditional labels
        > Shapes and images
        > Background images: Fake geo-maps
        > Filter by dates
        > Bug fixes: Twitter, setup, multiple users, settings traveling,
locked down machines

    In partnership with the Uberlink corporation (, the VOSON data collector component has
recently been integrated into NodeXL to enable web hyperlink network

NodeXL has been downloaded more than 50,000 times and is becoming the
easiest path to getting insights from network data.

 NodeXL requires Office 2007.  Other versions of Excel (like 2008 on Mac, or
the older 2003) do not work with NodeXL (sorry!).  NodeXL works with the new
Office 2010 version of Excel.

NodeXL <> is a project from the Social Media
Research Foundation <> ( and receives generous support from the Microsoft
Research External Projects
 Contributors to NodeXL <> include Natasa
Milic-Frayling <>
from Microsoft
Research <>, Eduarda Mendes
the University of Porto <>,
Ben Shneiderman <>, Derek
, Udayan Khurana <>, Cody
Dunne<> and
others at the University of Maryland <>, Marc
 at Connected Action Consulting <>, Jure
Leskovec <> at Stanford
, Vladimir Barash <> and Scott
 at Cornell <>, Bernie
 at Oxford University <>, Robert
Ackland<> at
the Australian National University <>, and Libby
Hemphill <> at the Illinois Institute of

                         The Social Media Research Foundation is dedicated

Open Tools, Open Data, and Open Scholarship.

                         Social media is the term for all the ways people
connect to people through computation.  Mobile devices, social networks,
micro-blogging and location sharing are just a few of the ways people engage
in computer-mediated collective action.

 Mapping, measuring and understanding the landscape of social media is our
mission.  We support tool projects that enable the collection, analysis and
visualization of social media data.  We host data sets that are relevant to
social media research.  And we will support graduate students studying and
building research related to social media.

Today, in addition to NodeXL <> we are
expanding to include data collection tools for additional social media
sources, better support for exploring the changes in networks over time, and
web based applications to expand access to network analysis services and

       Marc Smith

       Director, Social Media Research Foundation
        [log in to unmask]

Social Media Network Research Related Publications
Hansen, D., Smith, M., Shneiderman, B., EventGraphs: charting collections of
conference connections. Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences.
Forty-Forth Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
(HICSS). January 4-7, 2011. Kauai, Hawaii.

         EventGraphs are social media network diagrams constructed from
content selected by its association with time-bounded events, such as
conferences. Many conferences now communicate a common "hashtag" or keyword
to identify messages related to the event. EventGraphs help make sense of
the collections of connections that form when people follow, reply or
mention one another and a keyword. This paper defines EventGraphs,
characterizes different types, and shows how the social media network
analysis add-in NodeXL supports their creation and analysis. The paper also
identifies the structural and conversational patterns to look for and
highlight in EventGraphs and provides design ideas for their improvement.

In the Journal of Social Structure: “Visualizing the Signatures of Social
Roles in Online Discussion Groups” is available from:
joss/content/articles/volume8/Welser/  It illustrates different patterns of
network structures associated with different kinds of roles and behaviors.

Social roles in online discussion forums can be described by patterned
characteristics of communication between network members which we conceive
of as ‘structural signatures.' This paper uses visualization methods to
reveal these structural signatures and regression analysis to confirm the
relationship between these signatures and their associated roles in Usenet
newsgroups. Our analysis focuses on distinguishing the signatures of one
role from others, the role of “answer people." Answer people are individuals
whose dominant behavior is to respond to questions posed by other users. We
found that answer people predominantly contribute one or a few messages to
discussions initiated by others, are disproportionately tied to relative
isolates, have few intense ties and have few triangles in their local
networks. OLS regression shows that these signatures are strongly correlated
with role behavior and, in combination, provide a strongly predictive model
for identifying role behavior (R2=.72). To conclude, we consider strategies
for further improving the identification of role behavior in online
discussion settings and consider how the development of a taxonomy of author
types could be extended to a taxonomy of newsgroups in particular and
discussion systems in general.

“Discussion catalysts in online political discussions: Content importers and
conversation starters<>“
the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication <> (
JCMC <>) at

This study addresses 3 research questions in the context of online political
discussions: What is the distribution of successful topic starting
practices, what characterizes the content of large thread-starting messages,
and what is the source of that content? A 6-month analysis of almost 40,000
authors in 20 political Usenet newsgroups identified authors who received a
disproportionate number of replies. We labeled these authors ‘‘discussion
catalysts.’’ Content analysis revealed that 95 percent of discussion
catalysts’ messages contained content imported from elsewhere on the web,
about 2/3 from traditional news organizations. We conclude that the flow of
information from the content creators to the readers and writers continues
to be mediated by a few individuals who act as filters and amplifiers.

Analyzing (Social Media) Networks with NodeXL
Smith, M., Shneiderman, B., Milic-Frayling, N., Rodrigues, E.M., Barash, V.,
Dunne, C., Capone, T., Perer, A. & Gleave, E. (2009),"Analyzing (Social
Media) Networks with NodeXL", In C&T '09: Proceedings of the Fourth
International Conference on Communities and Technologies. Springer.

Abstract: In this paper we present NodeXL, an extendible toolkit for network
data analysis and visualization, implemented as an add-in to the Microsoft
Excel 2007 spreadsheet software. We demonstrate NodeXL features through
analysis of a data sample drawn from an enterprise intranet social network,
discussion, and wiki. Through a sequence of steps we show how NodeXL
leverages and extends the broadly used spreadsheet paradigm to support
common operations in network analysis. This ranges from data import to
computation of network statistics and refinement of network visualization
through a selection of ready-to-use sorting, filtering, and clustering
Whither the Experts
Howard Welser, Eric Gleave, Marc Smith, Vladimir Barash, Jessica
Meckes. “Whither
the Experts? Social affordances and the cultivation of experts in community
Q&A systems”, in SIN '09: Proc. international symposium on Social
Intelligence and Networking. IEEE Computer Society Press.

Abstract: Community based Question and Answer systems have been promoted as
web 2.0 solutions to the problem of finding expert knowledge. This promise
depends on systems’ capacity to attract and sustain experts capable of
offering high quality, factual answers. Content analysis of dedicated
contributors’ messages in the Live QnA system found: (1) few contributors
who focused on providing technical answers (2) a preponderance of attention
paid to opinion and discussion, especially in non-technical threads. This
paucity of experts raises an important general question: how do the social
affordances of a site alter the ecology of roles found there? Using insights
from recent research in online community, we generate a series of
expectations about how social affordances are likely to alter the role
ecology of online systems.
First Steps to Netviz Nirvana
Bonsignore, E.M., Dunne, C., Rotman, D., Smith, M., Capone, T., Hansen, D.L.
& Shneiderman, B. (2009), "First steps to NetViz Nirvana: evaluating social
network analysis with NodeXL", In SIN '09: Proc. international symposium on
Social Intelligence and Networking. IEEE Computer Society Press.

Abstract: Social Network Analysis (SNA) has evolved as a popular, standard
method for modeling meaningful, often hidden structural relationships in
communities. Existing SNA tools often involve extensive pre-processing or
intensive programming skills that can challenge practitioners and students
alike. NodeXL, an open-source template for Microsoft Excel, integrates a
library of common network metrics and graph layout algorithms within the
familiar spreadsheet format, offering a potentially low-barrier to-entry
framework for teaching and learning SNA. We present the preliminary findings
of 2 user studies of 21 graduate students who engaged in SNA using NodeXL.
The majority of students, while information professionals, had little
technical background or experience with SNA techniques. Six of the
participants had more technical backgrounds and were chosen specifically for
their experience with graph drawing and information visualization. Our
primary objectives were (1) to evaluate NodeXL as an SNA tool for a broad
base of users and (2) to explore methods for teaching SNA. Our complementary
dual case-study format demonstrates the usability of NodeXL for a diverse
set of users, and significantly, the power of a tightly integrated
metrics/visualization tool to spark insight and facilitate sensemaking for
students of SNA.
Do You Know the Way to SNA?
Hansen, D., Rotman, D., Bonsignore, E., Milic-Frayling, N., Rodrigues, E.,
Smith, M., Shneiderman, B. (July 2009)
Do You Know the Way to SNA?: A Process Model for Analyzing and Visualizing
Social Media Data
University of Maryland Tech Report: HCIL-2009-17

Abstract: Voluminous online activity data from users of social media can
shed light on individual behavior, social relationships, and community
efficacy. However, tools and processes to analyze this data are just
beginning to evolve. We studied 15 graduate students who were taught to use
NodeXL to analyze social media data sets. Based on these observations, we
present a process model of social network analysis (SNA) and visualization,
then use it to identify stages where intervention from peers, experts, and
computational aids are most useful. We offer implications for designers of
SNA tools, educators, and community & organizational analysts.


On Tue, Jan 18, 2011 at 6:06 AM, Barry Wellman <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> Karen,
> well, I'll forward to the lsit. I don't think its been censored. Did you
> send to social networks list <[log in to unmask]>
> But the instant answer is NodeXL, which works directly off of Excel.
> I'm copying to Marc Smith, the daddy of the program. He and Ben Shneiderman
> have a book out about it.
> And re Chinese consulting business, I'm forwarding to Prof Wenhong Chen, my
> former student, who did a dissertaton with me about similar stuff.
> FOLKS, Karen is wonderful and a good friend.
>  Barry Wellman
>  _______________________________________________________________________
>  S.D. Clark Professor of Sociology, FRSC               NetLab Director
>  Department of Sociology                  725 Spadina Avenue, Room 388
>  University of Toronto   Toronto Canada M5S 2J4   twitter:barrywellman
>             fax:+1-416-978-3963
>  Updating history:
>  _______________________________________________________________________
> On Tue, 18 Jan 2011, Karen Christensen wrote:
>  Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2011 05:56:38 -0500
>> From: Karen Christensen <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: FW: Your favorite network mapping tool?
>> Dear Barry,
>> I emailed this but haven't seen it on the list, nor any responses.
>> Perhaps too basic for the likes of INSA members! But I don't think
>> you'll mind getting the question, and perhaps will know of something
>> simple enough for me to use.
>> I've been thinking about online and in-person communities a lot, having
>> accidentally become the founder/moderator of the first Great Barrington
>> neighborhood listserv. Very popular. And at the same time I'm getting to
>> know people in the West Village through writing for the local paper
>> about Jane Jacobs and community. Two sides of the coin. Fun.
>> Hope you and Bev are thriving.
>> Cheers, Karen.
>> ________________________________
>> From: Karen Christensen
>> Sent: Thursday, January 13, 2011 12:07 PM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Your favorite network mapping tool?
>> Greetings! And apologies if this has been discussed recently on the
>> listserv - I did a quick scan and didn't see anything.
>> I would be very grateful for your recommendation of a simple network
>> mapping tool. Ideally, something into which I could drop data from an
>> Excel sheet and see overlapping institutions/companies, locations, etc.
>> I'm trying to get a handle on small personal networks, and then think
>> about how they get connected one to another (via professional
>> associations and listservs like this, for example).
>> In case you're interested, the thing that got me thinking about this is
>> the way Chinese and China-focused professionals consciously build little
>> consulting businesses around their personal network of family and
>> friends. I want to compare a few of those networks to similar Western
>> individuals' networks. If you've seen data about this, I'd also very
>> much appreciate any leads.
>> I do hope there are a few easy tools for me to try - thanks in advance
>> for your help.
>> Cheers, Karen.
>> Berkshire Publishing Group LLC -
>> December News
>> Sign up for a weekly Berkshire Byte: World History, China, or
>> Sustainabytes available free at <>
>> <>
>> +1 413 528 0206 | Fax +1 413 541 0076 | Skype: karen_christensen
>> [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>> Blog:
>> <>
>> Twitter:
>> <>
>> --
>> Bill Gates has this to say about Berkshire's This Fleeting World: "I
>> first became an avid student of David Christian by watching his course,
>> Big History, on DVD, and so I am very happy to see his enlightening
>> presentation of the world's history captured in these essays. I hope it
>> will introduce a wider audience to this gifted scientist and teacher."

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