Forward motion and self-organizing networks

Technicolor Blogmap.

An update to the Blogmap Project. Using the same Friendship links data from the Blog Tribe on Ryze, Valdis developed two new maps. The first map shows the Tribe’s network within Ryze with Tribe Members colored in magenta and non-members in blue. This differentiation makes clearer the size and linkages of the actual tribe.

Maps are great at revealing where you are. Combined with the whitepaper’s framework, it reveals that while the network has gained some strength through the centralized communication facilitated, it lacks redundancy and wider contribution. Recall that the community is only 2 months old and it is one without a specific organizing principle except the common interest of blogging, and one could say the progress has been fantastic, when measured by membership growth and linkage structures. But that image still disturbs me.

[Ross Mayfield’s Weblog]

More interesting data and analysis from Ross and Valdis. Ross expersses a bit of concern at his central positioning but none of this would be happening without his energy and commitment to the experiment. Something to remember in all this talk about networks and self-organizing systems.

There may not be a visible hierarchy but the energy still has to come from somewhere. Someone has to be the spark and put enough energy into the system for it to become self-sustaining and self-organizing. Here it’s started with Ross. He’s doing it in a way that is engaging the rest of us (witness his recent effort to promote a blog-buddy system at Ryze).

So, don’t just take a look at what Ross is up to, but get involved! Add to the forward motion .

Social Network Mapping and Blogs

Blog Tribe Social Network Mapping.

Here is the initial social network analysis of the Blog Tribe at Ryze — which maps the Friendship networks and Blogrolls of Tribe members. What’s unique about this collaborative project is the mapping of blogspace and of how two unique communities intersect.

Thanks to the contributions of Valdis Krebs, Pete Kaminski, and those who volunteered to contribute their blogrolls, this is one of the largest online communities mapped. The data was captured within a month of the founding of the Blog Tribe, a snapshot in time that will be useful to return to, with 1,108 nodes from approximately 100 members. [full story]

[Ross Mayfield’s Weblog]

This seems like an appropriate item to launch 2003 with. I was one of the contributors of data for this experiment, so if you dig into the pictures and such you’ll find my name in there.

Ross did a great job pushing this along. He’s also tracking some of the early reactions to the data from others. Phil Wolff makes an interesting observation on the underlying differences between the Ryze and blogging environments. Most of the social network analysis efforts I’ve seen tend to look at reasonably homogeneous environments such as organizations. We did something along those lines in the early days at Diamond, when we worked with Wayne Baker from the University of Michigan to look at the network structure within our partner group. Very helpful to see the underlying structure of even a relatively small network of executives within a single organizations.

As I reflect on this particular analysis, I’m struck by the potential to find additional insight in mapping the bridges between multiple networks. Here we have a group who all belong to two explicit networks. How can we use these tools to get a better sense of how to more effectively navigate through half a dozen different yet interconnected networks?