Posts filed under ‘Network analysis & mapping’

Automated network mapping

An interesting development in network mapping is the ability to do it automatic and “live”. I’ve been involved in doing network mapping of conferences the old-fashion way – manually (as I’ve written about before). This article in the Technology Review explains how automated network mapping was done at a conference. Simply put, conference participants were given a badge (as pictured above) that tracked their proximity to other badges and sent this data to a central computer which then analysed the data and produced a real time visualisation of the event’s social network (pictured above). Interesting…

Read the full article here >>

August 27, 2008 at 3:01 pm Leave a comment

Social network analysis and evaluation

nullMeasuring networks can have many applications: how influence works, how change happens within a community, how people meet, etc. I’m interested in measuring networks as indicator of how contacts are established amongst people, particularly in events and conferences, as I’ve written about previously.

In this area, there is a new resource page available on social network analysis and evaluation from M&E news. The page contains many useful resources and examples of network analysis and evaluation for non-profit organisations, education, events and research and development – including one from myself.

(Above image is from a network analysis of a conference, further information is available here>> )


June 24, 2008 at 2:27 pm Leave a comment

network mapping tool

As regular readers will now, I am interested in network mapping and have undertaken some projects where I have used network mapping to assess networks that have emerged as a result of conferences.

Here is quite an interesting tool, Net-Map, an interview-based mapping tool. The creators of this tool state that it is a “tool that helps people understand, visualize, discuss, and improve situations in which many different actors influence outcomes”.

Read further about the tool and view many of the illustrative images here>>


May 20, 2008 at 12:57 pm Leave a comment

conference evaluation and network mapping


Often we attend conferences where one of the stated objectives is “increase/build/create networking” and I always found it odd that there is never any attempt to measure if networking really took place.

A possible solution is to map networks created by participants at conferences – and compare these networks to those that existed before the conferences.

This is exactly what I have done recently in a network mapping study that you can view here (pdf – 1 MB) and the above image is from. From the LIFT conference of 2007, we mapped the networks of 28 participants (out of 450 total participants) before and after the conferences. We found some quite surprising results:

  • These 28 participants had considerable networks prior to the conference – reaching some 30% of all participants.
  • These networks increased after the conference -the 28 people were then connected to some 50% of all participants.
  • Based on the sample of 28 participants, most participants doubled their networks at LIFT07 – e.g. if you went to the conference knowing five people, you would likely meet another five people at the conference – thus doubling your network to ten.

Although this is only a mapping of 28 participants, it provides some insight into conferences and how networks develop – it’s also quite interesting that 28 people can reach 50% (225 people) of the total conference participants in this case.

View the full report here (pdf – 1 MB).

If you are after further information on network mapping, I recommend Rick Davies’ webpage on network mapping. Although it focuses on development projects it contains a lot of useful information on network mapping in general.


January 14, 2008 at 8:20 pm 12 comments

Fact Sheets on Communications Evaluation

As part of a breakfast meeting recently held in Geneva on evaluation and communications (where Tom Watson spoke at), I put together a series of fact sheets which some of you may find of interest:


April 16, 2007 at 9:12 pm 13 comments

Network Mapping – Commercial application?

I read of interest on this post about a network mapping service that has created relational maps about investors, companies and people in the Silicon Valley.

For example, they made a map of the capital links between the three big social networking sites (Facebook, Friendster & LinkedIn). You can view more examples here.

What’s interesting is that this is a paying service – to fully access and use the maps – which points out the value that network mapping can have – for analysing complex situations.

Thanks to Kushtrim Xhakli for bringing this to my attention.


March 6, 2007 at 9:32 pm 7 comments

Mapping Stakeholder Networks

I’ve written previously about measuring networks and how it can be very useful for an organisation to assess the different links between their key stakeholders. I came across another approach to mapping stakeholders which has some very good elements: the clarity concept identifies stakeholders and maps the relationships based on attitude, importance and influence of publics and the strength of the relationships (see the example above). You can read further about this concept on the stakeholder relationship management blog.

Although this is essentially a proprietary solution (offered by Clarity CS), what I appreciate is that the people behind the solution offer all their thoughts, theories and ideas on the subject so you can learn a lot from their approach – at no cost.

Disclaimer: there are no links between the authors of this blog and Clarity CS. Although one of the founders of this solution, Jon White, was a lecturer at my masters programme).


May 30, 2006 at 9:04 am 2 comments

Measuring Networks

This is an interesting tool from that provides a graphical overview of the Al Qaeda network. The data is collected from thousands of open source reports, documents & news stories which are put together to establish the network linkages.

I write about this tool as it’s one of the first I have seen that attempts to measure a network. In communications, it is interesting for an organisation to assess the links between their key stakeholders. The theory is that a stakeholder group has more influence over an organisation if it has multiple links with other stakeholders. The structure of the stakeholder network is a good indicator as to where the power and influence is centered – and this helps organisations in prioritising their communication and relationship building activities with stakeholders.

The theory and practice of the importance of stakeholder networks is growing. If you are interested, read this article (pdf) from Ann Svendsen of the Collaborative Learning and Innovation Group (Simon Fraser University, Canada) where she explains how organisations actively assess and work with their stakeholder networks.

I learnt about the trackingthethreat network tool from the information aesthetics blog that looks at novel approaches as to how data can be visually represented.


February 15, 2006 at 9:25 am Leave a comment

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