Data Memo—Visualizing Your Own Digital Networks
Do “An Exercise in Visualizing Your Own Digital Networks” explained in the appendix of Howard, Castells and the Media.
Previous versions of this course linked to open source programs that permitted to analyze large networks, by pulling your data from Facebook or other social networks. Facebook has recently deprecated these applications, so you will have but one choice – to do your analysis on “A Small, Purposive Sample, Analyzed by Hand” (see explanation at page 110 of the book).
Choose two social networks you want to run the analysis on (e.g.: your e-mail and your Facebook account, your Facebook and your Twitter, your mobile phone and your Instagram, etc.). Compose a 500-word essay about what the two network maps – compared – reveal (or obscure) about your own social network. Be sure to reference to some of today’s readings to complete your reflection. You may use visuals or screenshots of your network to complete the paper.
Write a discussion post about something that surprised you (or not!) when studying your own social network, and comment on that in relation to the readings of this week (in particular, Chapter 2 by P. Howard). Did you find some names you have not seen in a while? Did you notice differences in the two networks you analyzed? Was there something you really didn’t expect? If a social scientist was relying on this data to understand your social network, would they get the wrong picture in some way? Does the literature give you any insight about your network analysis?
Howard, P. (2011) Castells and the Media. Thousand Oaks, CA: Polity Press. Appendix (pages 109-122) and Chapter 2: Media Economics and Life Online (pages 22-37).
Sacks, M.A., Graves, N., (2012). How Many “Friends” Do You Need? Teaching Students How to Network Using Social MediaPreview the document. Business Communication Quarterly 75, 80–88.