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Michael Schuster is working for Knallgrau New Media Solutions, a Vienna based Weblog Solution Provider. In 2003 they launched twoday.net, a commercial Hosting Service. His research interests include Network Theory, Social Networks, Social Aspects of Information Technology, Content Management, e-Learning, Semantic Web, Semantic Technologies and Weblogs in Business. He is currently finishing his studies at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration and the Vienna Technical University.
Applying Social Network Analysis to a small Weblog Community: Hubs, Power Laws, the Ego Effect and the Evolution of Social Networks
Weblog Communities have recently been the subject of studies for Social Network Theory. The very nature of those communities is, that (1) they function very much the same way as real communities and (2) through the heavy use of links, the existence of blogrolls and the possibility to comment, which is a form of “face-to-face” interaction in the virtual domain, it is quite easy to depict the social network in the community.
Twoday.net, a European Weblog Community with 2.000 Bloggers, seems to be suitable for analysis in this field, with special focus on certain aspects or certain phenomenons. I would like to identify hubs and their role for the community and discuss the applicability of power laws in this case.
Newman (Ego-centered networks and the ripple effect, 2003) has shown that in certain networks the immediate neighbors are not randomly chosen, but depend on your mind set and the mind set of friends. This seems trivial because that is how we find friends in the real world, but it is not that easy in virtual communities such as a weblog community. This Paper will try to make use of Newman’s findings in case of twoday.net. The last aspect is the evolution of social networks. Using the existent data the evolution of the community and probably some patterns within that evolution, shall be visualized.
last update: Friday, July 23, 2004 at 10:32:16 AM-----------------------