DUE: write and draw
1. How do people display social networks in everyday life (that is, not online)? Give 2 concrete, specific examples. Why do they do this? What are the costs of making this display? The benefits? Does honesty play in?
2. Explore two different social networking sites [LinkedIn, Orkut, Friendster, Tribe, Ryze, Facebook, MySpace and others...]. One should be LinkedIn and the other is up to you. What different aspects of your personality/identity can be expressed in these sites? How does the design of these sites facilitate networking? How does this sort of display compare to traditional means of displaying social connectedness. What are the advantages and disadvantages? Are signals of friendship here reliable? Why or why not?
3. Draw a diagram of your social network (family, friends, acquaintances) using nodes and links. Aim to have between 30 and 60 people in your network - the more complete the better. Show connections among those people whom you know know each other. As you draw the diagram, think about where you are placing people - how have you grouped them, what meaning, if any, are you giving to adjacency or top/bottom? Try to identify brokers in your social network.
+ Think about how you can draw connecting lines: they can be thicker, thinner, longer, shorted. They can be solid or dashed, dark or light, wavy, curved, straight or angular. Consider the challenge of showing people who are physically distant but personally close.
+ Think about the groups/relationships in which people participate in your network. They might range from tight knit groups like families, to loosely focused groups like a college dorm. How can you use color, shape, size to represent these different types of groupings?
+ The final result can be turned in as a digital file (photoshop, illustrator, flash) or on a physical sheet of paper. You might consider including a legend or codex for your diagram.
4. (Optional) Take part in the Small World's Research Project http://smallworld.columbia.edu and discuss your results.
"The Wealth of Networks: Chapter 3. Peer Production and Sharing" by Yochai Benkler
"Silence is a Commons" by Ivan Illich
"The Tragedy of the Commons" by Garrett Hardin