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RE: [ona-prac] Social Network Informatics

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  • Patti Anklam
    Hi, David Lazer (Kennedy School of Government at Harvard) calls it computational social science . Here s a link to a great talk he did at the Kennedy School
    Message 1 of 38 , May 25, 2007

      David Lazer (Kennedy School of Government at Harvard) calls it
      "computational social science". Here's a link to a great talk he did at the
      Kennedy School earlier this month.



      -----Original Message-----
      From: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ona-prac@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
      Of Valdis Krebs
      Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2007 10:22 PM
      To: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [ona-prac] Social Network Informatics

      Yeah, good point... maybe we ought to just call it Ralph... or Betsey?



      On May 24, 2007, at 6:03 PM, Laurence Lock Lee wrote:

      > I find if we leave the "social" out people think we are talking
      > about computer networks..social network data mining.too much of a
      > mouthful?

      Yahoo! Groups Links
    • Laurence Lock Lee
      Hi Brian, I do tend to agree just because we can, doesn t necessarily mean we should. A government agency I was working with last year wanted to implement an
      Message 38 of 38 , Jun 15, 2007

        Hi Brian,


        I do tend to agree just because we can, doesn’t necessarily mean we should. A government agency I was working with last year wanted to implement an e-mail archive for record keeping purposes. There were many out of the box solutions available and not too expensive. There were no policy roadblocks, however I sensed that the executive who would have to approve the proposal were dragging their heels and I expect even now its on the back burner. I suspect the executives themselves would have been thinking “do I want all my e-mail archived for potential public scrutiny?”. The agency had even implemented some “opt-out” features in their Lotus Notes e-mail which enabled people to mark e-mails as private (which mostly meant e-mails organizing lunch or something like that). So it looks like even though we can…most organisations don’t want to for a variety of reasons including many you have mentioned.


        I think Tacit, one of the pioneers in e-mail mining, handled this quite well by instigating an “opt-in” process where staff could choose to submit the e-mail they are about to send to the repository for potential mining. Of course it could also work as an “opt-out” where the default is to send it to the repository unless you explicitly opt-out. I think the latter is the best solution as I expect over time many people will find they can’t be bothered opting out, especially if over time they can see its being used for “good” not “evil”…if indeed that is the case!





        Laurence Lock Lee


        Optimice Pty Ltd

        Mob: 0407001628

        e-mail: llocklee@...



        "learn to network, then network to learn"

        From: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ona-prac@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Brian S. Grant
        Sent: Monday, 11 June 2007 9:53 PM
        To: ona-prac@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [ona-prac] Re: Social Network Informatics


        Yes, John, I too understand that the legal precedent is set.
        However, since we deal in the grayer realms of trust (and not of
        legal privacy) between employer and employee of how the employee
        manages their time and use of company resources (begging the
        question of "who polices the police?"), where the perception of Big
        Brother may be the difference between keeping or losing some of your
        best employees, I don't feel that the law alone resolves the issue
        as consultants and practitioners will encounter it.

        I mean, depending on the job climate of an area, why would you want
        to stay with Company X who has draconian rules dicatating how you
        spend your day and what you write to anyone, versus Company Y who at
        least appears to extend a certain measure of trust in how their
        employees manage their time? Again, both may legally monitor
        employee activity, but there are degrees to which that will occur
        and at what point action will be taken - all at employer's

        In my personal opinion, it would be a shame if any company saw
        participating in a community of practice like this one as ill use of
        company time (or even lunch time while still on the company's
        computer and bandwidth). However, we all agree that there is a line
        employees can (and have) crossed, and that's where the law needs to
        be clear. However, in that spectrum leading up to that line, that is
        where we operate day to day. I'd be surprised if nobody in this
        group has ever encountered a client where this issue arose. I'd love
        to hear some examples from the field of how this is playing out.

        Brian Grant

        --- In ona-prac@yahoogroup s.com, "Bordeaux, John"
        <John_Bordeaux@ ...> wrote:

        > Actually, I believe the case law on this was established some time
        ago. Work emails reside on a machine belonging to the employer, and
        therefore the data belongs to the employer. The case involved a
        Pennsylvania firm, where someone was let go after sending an email
        disparaging the company or his supervisor. I'm no lawyer, but I do
        recall this ruling, which was upheld on appeal. No one should
        assume privacy rights when it comes to their email. Further, in the
        U.S. at least, no one should assume much privacy protection at all
        (see Google Earth's Street View beta)...
        > jb
        > John Bordeaux, Ph.D.
        > Director, Knowledge Management
        > SRA International, Inc
        > 703 227 8305
        > This electronic message transmission contains information from SRA
        International, Inc. which may be confidential, privileged, or
        proprietary. The information is intended for the use of the
        individual or entity named above. If you are not the intended
        recipient, be aware that any disclosure, copying, distribution, or
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        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: ona-prac@yahoogroup s.com
        on behalf of Laurence Lock Lee
        > Sent: Fri 6/8/2007 4:33 AM
        > To: ona-prac@yahoogroup s.com
        > Subject: RE: [ona-prac] Re: Social Network Informatics
        > While the e-mail mapping may be controversial I've spoken to two
        government employees recently who claimed that the employment
        contracts they signed basically had them sign away privacy rights to
        their work e-mail. The driver admittedly was records management and
        the making availability of e-mail archives for legal/compliance
        reasons. No doubt this will continue and perhaps it will generate a
        change in behaviour regarding the types of e-mail people send at
        > Laurence Lock Lee
        > Partner
        > Optimice Pty Ltd
        > Mob: 0407001628
        > e-mail: llocklee@... <mailto:llocklee@ ...>
        > www.optimice. com.au <http://www.optimice .com.au>
        > "learn to network, then network to learn"
        > ____________ _________ _________ __
        > From: ona-prac@yahoogroup s.com
        [mailto:ona-prac@yahoogroup s.com]
        On Behalf Of Nathaniel Welch
        > Sent: Friday, 8 June 2007 8:48 AM
        > To: ona-prac@yahoogroup s.com
        > Subject: RE: [ona-prac] Re: Social Network Informatics
        > I like the two threads you've distilled: they are simple,
        relevant, and actionable. To the second, I'd add knowledge (or
        expertise, if you prefer) to sentiment and influence.
        > I agree with the statement that email mapping is "mired in
        controversy" is but I don't believe that it is
        necessarily " .rightly so". I draw on your point that if people
        have the choice to "trade a certain measure of their privacy or
        anonymity, based on what they receive in turn from the deal " and
        they get value out of knowing who comprises the networks beyond
        theirs and what knowledge is out there, then it is a good way to use
        technology to address the need.
        > Look at what companies like Trampoline Systems are doing with:
        (www.trampolinesyst ems.com <http://www.trampoli nesystems. com> and
        http://www.socialco mputingmagazine. com/viewcolumn. cfm?colid= 316
        <http://www.socialco mputingmagazine. com/viewcolumn. cfm?colid= 316> )
        > Regards,
        > Nat
        > From: ona-prac@yahoogroup s.com
        [mailto:ona-prac@yahoogroup s.com]
        On Behalf Of Brian S. Grant
        > Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2007 9:03 AM
        > To: ona-prac@yahoogroup s.com
        > Subject: [ona-prac] Re: Social Network Informatics
        > Reading the replies to my question about where different people
        see the field growing over the coming years, I've teased out the
        following threads so far:
        > * Computational networks (the need to view and influence
        organizational patterns for trends over time - also addressing
        privacy issues)
        > * Semantic networks (the need to obtain and aggregate
        contextual data - such as sentiment and influences - of these
        > Please note that neither of the above bullets are intended to be
        new kinds of networks to be measured, but instead are only headings
        for a myriad of ideas discussed that I observe to be related.
        > When discussing the computational aspects of networks, it assumes
        that we will move, in the future, from the occasional snapshots of
        organizational structure to ever-increasingly "real time"
        perspectives on the current state and trending. This concept
        inevitably grows in a needed datastream that can't be generated
        merely by surveys. Yet, tapping into people's e-mails and other
        activities will continue to be mired in controversy- and rightly so.
        > People have shown time and time again that they are willing to
        trade a certain measure of their privacy or anonymity, based on what
        they receive in turn from the deal. In other words, given the right
        motivational incentives to create an organizational persona that
        willingly shares the aspects of themselves to that specific
        organizational group, people will voluntarily participate. For
        example, teens have increasingly posted aspects of their life,
        thoughts and actions which many adults could never imagine doing
        online, even if in our own youth we talked in social circles about
        things that outrages OUR parents. They do it for social status,
        street cred, and the like - but the same caveat remains: the data
        must be used in the right context. They don't want to see this
        aspect of their online persona used against them when applying for a
        job that has nothing to do with the aspects they shared with a
        different organizational group. Likewise, just because we are
        employed by a company doesn't mean that we want to opt in on real
        time organizational network monitoring of my every activity.
        However, there can be an arrangement where opting in could be of
        benefit. If performance reviews were partly based and rewarded on
        how well you were communicating and sharing the information and
        knowledge you possess with your colleagues, people will be more
        willing to participate in a equitable system of clear expectations
        of rewards based on the network monitoring.
        > The other thread, that I called semantic networks, gets to the
        heart that the networks we currently measure are usually arbitrarily
        one-dimensional (in respect of being about one type of
        communication) . So the future will find us integrating multi-
        dimensional types of data (what are comparative sentiments or trust
        among connected people, what shared or opposed norms are influencing
        the different sub-cultures affecting networks ties, etc.). I find
        the You-Know tool Nat mentioned of interest, especially if we can
        find ways to integrate that data with our ONA visualizations.
        > Roughly semantics are about the meaning of, and relationship
        between, things. As the relationships between people occur on many
        levels simultaneously, and contain rich contextual data, so our ONA
        work will need to incorporate these multi-dimensional datasets into
        visualizations of startling insight. Yet to do so requires
        technology that doesn't exist at this time. Additionally, just
        waiting for other fields (such as Information Technology or Computer
        Science) to forge these technologies is flawed. We need to actively
        partner with those in related fields to create the technology
        > Of course, I could talk on both these threads for hours, but this
        message is already too long. Sorry about straining everyone's eyes
        (and minds, I hope). I look forward to seeing what other threads
        about our future develop.
        > Brian Grant

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