Archives for posts with tag: social networking

In my last post I described some of the main metrics used in social network analysis graphs. In this post I am going to look at some of the important considerations regarding the look and design of a network diagram.

A social network can be very vast, and a network diagram can quickly become very cluttered and unreadable. Netviz Nirvana has been developed to combat this. It is a set of principles that can guide you in your graphing projects. Your diagram should come as close as possible to matching these requirements:

  • Node Visibility – Each node should stand apart and clear from all others – no node should occlude another node.
  • Edge Visibility – You should be able to count the amount of edges coming off from every node
  • Edge Crossing – The less crossings – the better. The more often an edge crosses over another, the more visually complex the image becomes, and the harder it is to follow paths.
  • Edge Tunnels – These are when a node lies on an edge that is not its own. The problem could lie with either the position of the node or the position of the edge.
  • Text Readibility – All text should be clear enough for a reader to read.
  • Text Distinction – All text should be appropriately truncated (use a key if necessary).
  • Clusters and outliers should be clearly visible and distinct.

These are all good points to keep in mind when producing a graph. I would add that you should be careful that all colours used are distinctive from each other, and that they shouldn’t clash (you want your diagram to look good don’t you?)

For a video that goes a bit further into Netviz Nirvana – click here

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The EOL is aiming to be a single online resource cataloguing all life on this planet. Collaborating globally with many other collections, the site is working to provide a webpage for every single one of the 1.9 million species on the planet.

Each page will contain photo’s, sound-clips, videos, maps and articles written by experts and verified by the scientific community. There is also prominent ‘threat status’ section, letting the viewer know how endangered the species is.

On every page there is a dedicated community page which links to all discussions that relate to that particular species. Anyone can sign up and begin a discussion and all content is licensed under creative commons. It currently has 48,000 members who have already contributed towards the 634,000 images on the website.

The ultimate goal is to ‘make high-quality, well-organized information available on an unprecedented level.’

Nation of Neighbours provides a simple set of tools that enables citizens of a community to communicate with one another. It is a development of the existing Neighbourhood Watch scheme and allows citizens to share information on local crime, report suspicious activity and voice concerns about the community.

Any registered member can submit a report about their local area. A point based ranking system determines whether a member can file a report straight onto the website, or if their report has to go into a queue. Items in the queue are moderated by active members who have accumulated enough ‘stars’.

Any person can register their local community (US only at present). Members can receive alerts whenever there is a new report published that matches their alert criteria via email, text or RSS.  There is the option to publish local news and events, share photos and discuss community issues.

The hope of the project is that it will increase social participation and strengthen the sense of neighbourhood whilst helping local authorities keep in contact with the community and reduce crime. Plans for the future include an API that will enable Nation of Neighbours to be incorporated into existing community websites.

This infographic demonstrates how understanding the scale of involvement in social media can help distinguish and categorise different social networking systems.

Yammer is an enterprise social networking tool that offers both free and paid for services. You register using your companies unique email address. It is pretty much a private Facebook for your company – with all the social networking features you could want. It is used by 80% of the Fortune 500 companies and top clients include the BBC, Groupon and Barclaycard.

Yammer saves time and increases productivity, encourages spontaneous real time conversations, connects people within the organization and encourages the sharing of new ideas. The Facebook-like layout also means that people intuitively know how to use and navigate around the site.

A recent poll of 10,000 Yammer users has turned out some positive results for the company: