Social computing, coding and social network analysis

Kjell Gunnar Bleivik First version 02.13.2012

Last updated 02.14.2012 Status: Will be updated with additional information.

The web is more a social creation than a technical one. I designed it for a social effect - to help people work together - and not as a technical toy. The ultimate goal of the Web is to support and improve our weblike existence in the world. We clump into families, associations, and companies. We develop trust across the miles and distrust around the corner.
Source: Tim Berners-Lee (2000) "Weaving the Web The original design and ultimate destiny of the World Wide Web".

The World Wide Web is a hyperlinked data structure of sites and interlinked documents. It is also a Giant Global Graph. Billions of people connect via trillions of connections on this grap, more commonly known as the internet or the World Wide Web (WWW). What is the best description, the World Wide Web or the Giant Global Graph (GGG) may depend on the people that study the data ore social structure.

This structure may also be analysed as a tree, a map of clusters etc. Social media platforms are used to create human connection that span continents. They also create connections that can bind togehter local regions. We have seen it in the socalled Arabic Spring where local groups were formed on social platforms. YouTube may bring you more up to date news information than the professional media companies can provide. They have a great advantantage to the professional newspapers. They are in place when an event unfolds and they can take pictures and movie clips with their cell phones and instantly upload them to YouTube or Flickr. Earth quakes, tsunamies and political turmoil can be micro blogged on Twitter seconds after they are observed.

These interconnections, trees, clusters that form the Giant Global Graph or as we better know it as the World Wide Web has aslo created new software and terms used in the new social network science. Social network ananlysis (SNA) is the application of the broader field of network science to the study of human connections and relationships. Terms like social computing, social coding and social data mining is a natural result of software like NodeXL that is described and illustrated in the book Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL Written by two professors and one sociologist employed by Microsoft.

It is interesting to note that when I google the term science of tecnological systems and expect to find the Tavistock Institute among the first hits, the chinese edu.cn has the first hit when this article is written in february 2012. The Tavistock Institute is not on the first three pages on the organic hits on the Google SERPs.

The socail trend is so important that the European Society of Socially Embedded Technologies have launced their own web site named, EUSSET. If you are looking for the latest software and tools in social coding and web datamining, a natural place to start is on GitHub and search for - yes, you may have guessed it social coding and similar terms. There is even a related site, the verson control system at git-scm.com.

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