Blog Archives

10 Master Ideas of Social Networks: brought to you by MACT 2013 Cohort!

Charles Kadushin pointed out that there are 10 master ideas of social networks, and we explored each of them in details during this term.

We found out that social network theory is about interaction and relatedness between different social units and can be applied to any social level. For example, here social networks theory is used to explain the conflict between different social strata and here – to help people succeed in personal branding.

We also discovered that we can display social networks as graphs and diagrams to better understand their nature, and researched relationships in triads, which are considered the molecules of social networks. In addition to that, we understood what homophily is and how this social network principle can manifest in different situations.

We analyzed the reasons that motivate people in networks to stay connected and found out that different types of online social networks serve to fulfill different needsThe way people use social networks varies as well. We have also proposed different ways to ignite relationships in social media.

Position in a network is another master idea that is important for the social network analysis. We partitioned organizational networks and analyzed them through the lens of social networks theory.

Six degrees of separation and small world concept have also attracted our attention. We read about Milgram’s experiments and discussed further research. We have also analyzed the way different ideas diffuse in social networks and explored the factors behind.

Last, but not least, we talked about the concept of social capital and discussed how it can be turned into financial capital.

At the end of the course each of us produced a video where we tried to apply these master ideas of social networks to real world. The whole list of videos can be found here. Enjoy!

Video: Social Networks and Situation in Ukraine

Social networks theory can help us understand and explain the ongoing processes in societies all over the world. In this video I apply network theory to analyze the dynamics of protests in Ukraine, from Euromaidan to situation in Crimea.

This video was created for COMM506 course, which is an integral part of the MACT program (University of Alberta). You can also check my original Prezi here.

Hope you will like my video! Let me know what you think about it in comments below 🙂

Network theory and situation in Ukraine

First of all, I think that what is happening at the moment in Ukraine is horrible; in fact, it’s a tragedy not only for Ukrainian and Russian people, but also for the whole world. I still hope that the conflict can and will be solved without violence, in a peaceful manner.
Nevertheless, when I was following the story in the news, I understood that we could actually use the network theory principles to understand the conflict dynamics in southeastern regions of Ukraine.

So, in this post I would like to avoid politics, discussions about who’s right and who’s wrong, as well as calling names, and look at the situation from the positions of social networks scholars instead.  My small research is based on the information available on different Ukrainian and Russian web sites, discussions with friends in Ukraine, as well as on some reports in Western press.

As we know, the whole population of Earth can be described in terms of social networks. This enormous network consists of myriads of different more or less dense clusters connected with each other by strong or weak ties, as well as of structural holes.

The dense clusters are usually formed on the basis of homophily principle (i.e. some common attributes, such as connection, friendship and even language). Propinquity (often geographical) is another characteristic of network clusters. These properties of social networks help to develop a sense of “trust” among their members, as well as generate social support, cohesion and embeddedness, in other words, make people feel themselves  as a part of one group and support group decisions.  Read the rest of this entry