SoNIA is a Java-based package for visualizing dynamic or longitudinal “network” data. By dynamic, we mean that in addition to information about the relations (ties) between various entities (actors, nodes) there is also information about when these relations occur, or at least the relative order in which they occur.
The source code is on the sourceforge site.
At the same time that I’ve been doing the literature research for this project, I’ve also been conducting a short term longitudinal study of social and informational networks as they develop among the entering first-year students of the Class of ’04 and the rest of the Bennington College community. I had several reasons for wanting to do this. Throughout this work I have been discussing and suggesting conceptual frameworks for thinking about information in social networks. My hope was that doing this kind of study might give me some real data for comparison – a qualitative check on how well theory actually describes what is going on. Ideally a network study of the campus might give me a baseline idea of the social structure of Bennington which could be built upon in future work. At the very least, attempting to construct and implement a study would teach me a great deal about methodologies and the complicating factors which will inevitably crop up when dealing with theory and data in the real world.
Continue reading Bennnington Social Network Study