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Interesting opportunity so we should probably find someone to go to this.  If I can free some time I will do it.

From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of James Moody
Sent: Thursday, November 03, 2011 10:55 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Invitation to Duke Weak-Tie Network Workshop

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Dear SocNetters -


I would like to invite you to participate in a 2-day workshop we (the Duke Network Analysis Center<http://dnac.ssri.duke.edu/> under the sponsorship of the Army Research Office) are hosting on "Weak Social Ties: Quantification, Metrics and Modeling."  The summary can be found here: http://www.soc.duke.edu/~jmoody77/wtn_workshop.pdf and lays out the reasoning behind this workshop in more detail, but the essence of our goal is to inform research investment over the next decade.  The workshop will meet over two consecutive days, December 1st and 2nd, and we have a limited number of fellowships we can offer to cover travel and hotel expenses for participation.



Goals & Background:

The workshop's goal is to design a roadmap for future research efforts in quantification, metrics, modeling and implications of weak social ties. The "Technical Themes of the Workshop" center on 6 key questions (see p. 2 of the attached), around the definition, content, dynamics & measurement of weak-tie networks. We are seeking to build common understanding around these questions. The practical goal of the workshop is to produce documents that help guide outline of strategic research directions. Recently exponentially increasing attention to, and participation in, social media is the background for this workshop. The increase has been so rapid that development projects are undertaken and completed before basic social science principles are discussed. To have influence on government development efforts (often security-related) and industrial development efforts (often marketing-related), a basic research agenda needs to be articulated. This workshop will do that.



Format:

This workshop will not be a "standard" (sit-and-get, mini-conference-style) workshop.  We will ask each person to provide a short (around five minutes), "future-oriented" presentation about what you think the ideal research direction for one or more of the "Technical Themes of the  Workshop" (see pp. 2 and 3 of the description of the workshop) would be.   These presentations will be followed by extensive discussion and, later, by design of text and slides to communicate the recommendations of the workshop.  This will be a working group: the discussions will produce documents to share shared with policy makers and funders.  As such, we seek participants who have both the technical capabilities and theoretical insights on the causes, consequences and evolution of weak-tie networks who are comfortable with rapid oral and written communication and strategic thinking in a dynamic group situation.



Getting here:

Travel expenses will be paid for chosen non-government personnel.



Application:

If you are interested in participating, please send the following information to David Diehl ([log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>).

1)      A copy of your CV

2)      A brief (paragraph or two) statement about why the workshop is of interest

3)      Which of the 6 themes you'd be most interested in working on.



Given the short time frame, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, completed by November 11.



Content:

1)       indicate which items in the "Technical Themes of the Workshop" you would like to comment on (or we can suggest a need).  We realize, of course, as you plan your contribution in more detail over the next weeks, changes may occur, but it's useful for us to have a sense of how the topics will be covered across participants.



It will be great to have you at the workshop.  Please note we are sending this invitation to a very small number of people we think would be the perfect fit for the task at hand; people uniquely able to contribute to this initiative.  If you can't come; but know of somebody who would be a good fit, please send me their name (funds may limit who we can invite, but we're trying to be inclusive).



Best regards,



James Moody, Professor, Duke University ([log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>) & Director, Duke Network Analysis Center.

Elisa Bienenstock, Army Research Office ([log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>)

John Lavery, Army Research Office ([log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>)



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