Purdue University Brian Lamb School of Communication hosts Marc Smith, NodeXL founder, social media and network analyis scholar

Marc Smith, cyber sociologist, product developer, Connected Action Chief Scientist, and leader of the Social Media foundation will visit the West Lafayette Purdue campus between September 22-23 and will give a talk about one of his most important projects, NodeXL, on Thursday, September 22 at 3 PM in Grisom Hall, 180. Marc is a guest of Brian Lamb’s School of Communication Fall colloquia “Innovation, Networks and Media.”

Marc Smith
Marc Smith

Marc Smith is one of those interesting intellectual “connectors” who move with great ease between academia and industry. A one time denizen of the Well and author of an interesting MA Thesis about the logic of virtual commons, coeditor of the Communities in Cyberspace, cited by Howard Rheigold in Virtual community and Smart Mobs, father of Netscan (an analytic tool for mining newsgroups), and more recent co-founder and fervent promoter of NodeXL, a new strategy and tool for conducting social network analysis, Marc Smith is a name of the first rank in social media research. Most recently he has founded and leads the Social Media Research Foundation, whose goal is to promote open source tools, data and scholarship in the fields of social media and social network analysis. A former scientist and researcher at Microsoft Research, Marc is currently a consultant and Chief Scientist at Connected Action, a start up he founded.

I had the chance to meet Marc in 2010 at the Microsoft Research Summit, in Seattle, where he shared with me a link to his dropbox. In it I found the manuscript of his latest book about NodeXL. Apparently a plugin for Excel, this was no run of the mill ancillary product. NodeXL is a worthy competitor in the field of social network analysis. Possessing superior analytic and visualizing capabilities, powered by Microsoft’s Office spreadsheet workhorse, Excel, the tool facilitates social network analysis (graphs and statistics) in a simple and direct way never before seen in this rather arcane social scientific field. A distinguishing feature are the data “spigots”. NodeXL taps into Facebook and Twitter accounts and searches, mapping social networks and calculating the centrality of various nodes on the fly. Finding communities and influencers in the thicket of connections is a cinch.

After I reviewed the book for the International Journal of Human Computer Interaction, I had a series of conversations with Marc about his current work and possible collaborations. The fruit of our conversations is his upcoming visit to Purdue University, where he will share with our research and student community his passion for Social Network Analysis and for NodeXL. He will meet with the members of the class I teach this semester, Online Interaction, and will give a public talk for the campus community. Details:

The Brian Lamb School of Communication is pleased to announce our Fall 2011 colloquia, with three speakers collectively addressing topics of innovation, networks, and media. Our speakers include Marc Smith, co-founder of the Social Media Research Foundation (Sep 22), Paul Leonardi, Breed Junior Professor of Design at Northwestern University (Oct 3), and John Feland from the d.School Institute of Design at Stanford and CEO of Argus Insights (Nov 9-11). Additional information about each speaker will be distributed each month (and available at: http://www.cla.purdue.edu/communication). We would appreciate it if you would please share this with your colleagues and students as well.

We invite you to join us for the first talk next Thursday, September 22 at 3:00pm in GRIS 180, given by Marc Smith, Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Media-X Program at Stanford University.

Grisom Hall. Zoom out to see location in context. CLosest parking garage: Grant (south east of Grisom)

Charting Collections of Connections in Social Media: Creating Maps and Measures with NodeXL

Marc Smith
Chief Social Scientist
Connected Action Consulting Group
Thursday Sep 22 3:00pm
GRIS 180

Networks are a data structure commonly found across all social media services that allow populations to author collections of connections. The Social Media Research Foundation’s NodeXL project makes analysis of social media networks accessible to most users of the Excel spreadsheet application. With NodeXL, networks become as easy to create as pie charts. Applying the tool to a range of social media networks has already revealed the variations present in online social spaces. A review of the tool and images of Twitter, flickr, YouTube, and email networks will be presented.

Marc Smith is a sociologist specializing in the social organization of online communities and computer-mediated interaction, and leads the Connected Action consulting group in Silicon Valley, California. Smith co-founded the Social Media Research Foundation (www.smrfoundation.org/), a non-profit devoted to open tools, data, and scholarship related to social media research. He has co-edited two books: “Communities in Cyberspace,” a collection of essays exploring the ways identity, interaction and social order develop in online groups; and “Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL: Insights from a Connected World,” a guide to mapping connections created through computer-mediated interactions. Smith received his M.Phil. in social theory from Cambridge University and Ph.D. in Sociology from UCLA. He is currently a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Media-X Program at Stanford University.

Marc Smith Talk at Purdue
Marc Smith Talk at Purdue

Sorin Adam Matei

Sorin Adam Matei - Professor of Communication at Purdue University - studies the relationship between information technology and social groups. He published papers and articles in Journal of Communication, Communication Research, Information Society, and Foreign Policy. He is the author or co-editor of several books. The most recent is Structural differentation in social media. He also co-edited Ethical Reasoning in Big Data,Transparency in social media and Roles, Trust, and Reputation in Social Media Knowledge Markets: Theory and Methods (Computational Social Sciences) , all three the product of the NSF funded KredibleNet project. Dr. Matei's teaching portfolio includes online interaction, and online community analytics and development classes. His teaching makes use of a number of software platforms he has codeveloped, such as Visible Effort . Dr. Matei is also known for his media work. He is a former BBC World Service journalist whose contributions have been published in Esquire and several leading Romanian newspapers. In Romania, he is known for his books Boierii Mintii (The Mind Boyars), Idolii forului (Idols of the forum), and Idei de schimb (Spare ideas).

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