Thursday, November 17, 2011

Reaction: Balancing Systematic and Flexible Exploration of Social Networks

Visualization, is not just about analyzing discreet entities but can involve analyzing data from a group perspective as well. Visualizing groups have become a really important and indispensible as they give a different view of data and can render critical information. For example, any email inbox can be used to vizualize individual emails. It can also be used to see the impact of a social group or a group of friends on the receiver. The paper also cites different examples where social analysis in very important.

The article endorses SocialAction which it introduces as unique escpecially because of the way it uses criteria and ranking. It aims to achieve good analytical results using this data and helps user to make new discoveries that are not possible without aggregating. I feel Social Action is an excellent tool for visualing aggregations and social networks because of a number of features it implements and flexibility that it provides using its ranking system and filtering. The tool shows greater promise when the graph looks a little too cluttered and helps in disambiguiting the information.

It is interesting to see the output graph patterns after enabling communites on the network graph and for me that is the standout feature. I feel this feature will help to understand the relationship a group in the community has with other as well as its own internal structure.

It would also be interesting to see how this type of graph can be applied to social networking sites and can be used by an users to see their activity in terms of group iteractions and how their contribution has changed in a group over time.

I feel this tool is a great step forward in analyzing groups because of the complexity of analyzing aggregated data and also using this data for correlating between groups.