Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Reaction: Balancing Systematic and Flexible Exploration of Social Networks

The way the social networks are progressing, I'd say this paper would sound little odd for those who got familiar with social networking quite recently. However, authors have very well framed the concept of Social graph and claims to solve various interesting problems that social networks are facing these days.
As discussed in the previous reaction for the task Taxonomy, here also I think authors are applying similar principles to that of Human Computer Interaction. It is quite interesting to note that Ben Shneiderman is the author of this paper.
Authors have widely discussed about Social Actions tool which is used to analyze social networks. I think it's an interesting tool which simplifies the visualizing a social network to great extent. The tool helps users to browse through the network quite systematically and get the overview of the data and figure out the outliers. Also, in case of large networks the tools allows filtering of nodes based on some criteria.
I feel even though we have various different approaches to explore social networks, but we need to realize the appropriate use of all such possible cases. We certainly are in era that is much more technologically advanced, however we need to understand that users are very selective towards the data they want to explore.
I think it's quite an interesting paper that would help to add value to the current social networks and help users to visualize their social network in a better way.