Network Weaving

Friday, February 22, 2008

Social Network Justice


One of the pleasures of selling social network analysis software and services is seeing what clients do with the new knowledge and tools we provide to them.

Several years ago I started working with an economic justice organization in a major U.S. city. Their focus is on tenant's rights and eliminating slum housing conditions. They had been working with their city attorney gathering information on a group of slumlords that owned apartment buildings that had a long list of continuously unresolved violations that were affecting the health of the tenants and their children.

They wanted a new way to analyze and visualize their data. Since the slumlords were keeping their activities covert, it made sense to uncloak their network using the data my client had gathered along with other available public data. Instead of mapping jihadi terrorists, the economic justice organization would be mapping economic terrorists.

2 Comments:

  • This is powerful potent work. There are times when you just *know* something is going on, but you can't quite prove it succinctly. Showing the map of relationships seems like a very useful way of unveiling these insidious connections. We can also build these relationships intentionally for uplift too.

    By Blogger Nurture Girl, at 2/22/2008 5:54 PM  

  • Hi Valdis,

    I agree this is a very interesting and practical use of network analysis. I particularly like the step analysis approach, which makes it very easy to trace the connections. Professor John Galloway has done some similar things with his Net Map Analytics tool, including mapping serial murder linkages and the Bali bombers.

    I am using network analysis techniques in a novel way as well, mainly as an adjunct to project management methods. You may, or may not, be interested to view some of my work at http://www.durantlaw.info/Visualisations .

    I am using UCINET/NetDraw and NetMiner III. I assume you used Inflow. It looks like Inflow will do a few things that I find impossible or very difficult to do in these tools. I would like to discuss this with you further.

    Finally for months I have been trying to put a feed from this site onto my site to no avail. Today I simply put this blog address into my blog-roll on my front page, and a link to your ORGNET site on the My Links page. Its not optimal, but its the best I can do.

    Best Regards from Australia, Graham.

    By Anonymous Graham Durant-Law, at 2/23/2008 6:35 PM  

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