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Network Weaving

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Network Mapping

The first step in Network Weaving is mapping the existing networks in your organization/community/region.

• What are our strengths?
• What are our weaknesses?
• Where are the disconnects?
• Who are the Connectors?
• Who are the Mavens?
• Who is in the clusters?
• How open/closed is our network?
• How have we progressed since last year?

Just like doctors use x-rays and CAT scans to see, and make sense of, what is happening in the complex human organism, we use network x-rays to map and measure what is happening in complex human communities like organizations, industries and regional economies.


  • My friend Jon Ramer has done a large number of maps in Mind Manager. By any chance, does InFlow read Mind Manager files??? I know Mind Manager can export to HTML, and I believe it can also export to XML.

    I haven't yet committed to a tool for network mapping, and my impression is that InFlow is a more powerful tool for network analysis than Mind Manager. But, if possible, I'd like to leverage all the work that Jon has put into Mind Manager maps...

    By SteveHabibRose, at 5/09/2006 8:24 PM  

  • Never used MindManager myself, but have seen output from it.

    It does not seem to do the kind of networks we need. It does "trees" - which are networks by mathematical definition. A hierarchy and a hub-and-spoke are trees. But I have not seen networks, from MindManager and similar tools, with CLOSED triangles -- which is a requirement for mapping HUMAN networks.

    Another benefit of an SNA tool like InFlow is that you can also measure what you map using social network metrics. InFlow allows easy what-ifs between the maps and metrics...
    • what if this node leaves our network, what affect does it have?
    • what if we add a link between X and Y how will that improve the network?

    InFlow takes simple CSV files for the initial import of data...



    * InFlow uses a 5 point scale with 1 being low. No need to enter zero values for links that do not exist.

    By Valdis, at 5/10/2006 12:42 PM  

  • Thanks, Valdis. That's helpful.

    The trick here is going to be "mashing-up" what I'm doing with what Jon has already been doing (Jon loves to talk about and organize "mash-ups." He has produced a large number of maps in Mind Manager, and his staff are producing more in the Interra Project.

    My guess is that, at a minimum, we'll be able to import the relevant data info into InFlow using the CSV format.

    I am in discussion my friend Viki Sonntag about collaborating with her and Sustainable Seattle as part of a project to map the local food system. I'll be in touch if that collaboration materializes.

    By SteveHabibRose, at 5/12/2006 11:41 AM  

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