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Subject: Re: Validity of network ties
From: Joshua O'Madadhain <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Fri, 29 Sep 2006 17:17:51 -0700
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*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****

On 9/29/06, Cora Schaefer <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> *****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
>
> Dear all,
>
> the discussion here on network structure and patterns was very intriguing.
> In a similar vein, I'm trying to find literature that discuss the validity
> of infering "real" social networks from online data.

Cora:

I think that phrasing things in this way may not be very productive.
As I see it, a social network is a mental construct; it's a particular
way of representing, and thinking about, certain kinds of data.

In particular, in order to construct a (social) network you have to
define what you mean by the entities and the connections between them.

I'm guessing that by "real" social networks you may mean something
like "networks which represent in-person, face-to-face
interactions/relationships".  I would say that this kind of network is
neither more or less "real" than a network which is based on email
interactions, or IM logs, or coauthorship of papers, none of which
need involve any in-person contact at all.

You can certainly ask the question "to what extent can we infer links
social networks derived from data type A, based on social networks
derived from data type B?" (as long as you specify what A and B are);
I think that this is an interesting question, is much better defined,
and doesn't imply any particular bias as to the "reality" of either
type.

Regards,

Joshua O'Madadhain

> A search on google.scholar did not turn up much. I've read the articles by
> danah boyd about the public displays of connection and wonder if there are
> similar articles. Can somebody point me in this direction?
>
> Thanks a lot in advance!
> Cora Schaefer
>
> ----
> Dipl.-Psych. Cora Schaefer
> Informationsdienste und elektronische Märkte
> Fakultät für Wirtschaftwissenschaften
> Universität Karlsruhe (TH)
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>
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-- 
  joshua.omadadhain@gmail.com...................www.ics.uci.edu/~jmadden
   Joshua O'Madadhain: Information Scientist, Musician, Philosopher-At-Tall
It's that moment of dawning comprehension that I live for.  -- Bill Watterson
 My opinions are too rational and insightful to be those of any organization.

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