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"Shneiderman, Ben" <[log in to unmask]>
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Shneiderman, Ben
Mon, 6 Sep 2010 14:43:30 -0400
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Dear SIGCHI colleagues,

   Our free and open source network analysis and visualization tool, NodeXL (, now has an accompanying book to help students, researchers, and professionals import, analyze, and visualize social networks.

   "Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL" is now available from Elsevier/MorganKaufmann Publishers:
   We've had satisfying success in getting information, computer science, communications, and business students to do substantive network analysis and create revealing visualizations, while professionals have been able to develop actionable business analyses.  

   Of course, there are legitimate concerns about how a tool as powerful as NodeXL could be used to extract personal information and business insights that might raise concerns for some people.  So much data is now public, but the NodeXL interface enables connecting the dots in ways that were difficult in the past.  Powerful tools have many beneficial uses, but raise concerns, demanding increased public and professional understanding of what is possible.  We hope you will help in that process within the CHI community.

   We think there are compelling stories around Pierre de Vries' analysis of FCC filings that indicate surprisingly strong collaborations between rural communication providers, Peter Aldhous of New Scientist who used NodeXL to collect and present evidence for unfair reviewing practices around the hot topic of stem cell research, and our work with Chris Wilson of Slate to show Senate voting patterns. 

   The NodeXL tool, a plug-in for Excel 2007/2010, which has been supported by Microsoft External Research for three years is free to download at  Users can also download datasets used as examples in the book, or use the NodeXL interface to get network data from email, twitter, facebook, flickr, youtube, and other sources.  The book describes the power of social media, gives a solid introduction to network analysis, and then leads readers through the steps of using NodeXL.  The software and book combination is proving to be a real game-changer - getting instructors to revise their courses and professionals to make better use of social media.

   Let us know if you have any questions.  We hope you will help us spread the word about this timely book and the potent NodeXL technology that lowers the barriers to making significant analytic insights about social media and networks of all types.

    Sincerely,  Ben, on behalf of

      Derek Hansen  [log in to unmask] 
      Ben Shneiderman [log in to unmask]
      Marc Smith  [log in to unmask]

Book Description:
Businesses, entrepreneurs, individuals, and government agencies alike are looking to social network analysis (SNA) tools for insight into trends, connections, and fluctuations in social media. Microsoft's NodeXL is a free, open-source SNA plug-in for use with Excel. It provides instant graphical representation of relationships of complex networked data. But it goes further than other SNA tools -- NodeXL was developed by a multidisciplinary team of experts that bring together information studies, computer science, sociology, human-computer interaction, and over 20 years of visual analytic theory and information visualization into a simple tool anyone can use. This makes NodeXL of interest not only to end-users but also to researchers and students studying visual and network analytics and their application in the real world.

In Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL, members of the NodeXL development team up provide readers with a thorough and practical guide for using the tool while also explaining the development behind each feature. Blending the theoretical with the practical, this book applies specific SNA instructions directly to NodeXL, but the theory behind the implementation can be applied to any SNA.
   *Walks readers through using NodeXL while explaining the theory and development behind each step, providing takeaways that can apply any SNA
   *Demonstrates how visual analytics research can be applied to SNA tools for the mass market
   *Presents readers with case studies using NodeXL on popular networks like email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and Wikis

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