Introduction to Social Network Analysis Dr. Panayiotis Zaphiris, Ulrike Pfeil City University, School of Informatics, Centre for Human – Computer Interaction Design, UK Tutorial website: http://www.bcs-hci.org.uk/hci2007/programme/tutorial/sna.asp Registration Information: http://www.bcs-hci.org.uk/hci2007 What is Social Network Analysis? Social networks develop when actors meet and form some kind of relation between each other. Hereby actors are often people, but can also be nations, organizations, objects etc. Social Network Analysis (SNA) focuses on patterns of relations between these actors. It seeks to describe networks of relations as fully as possible. This includes teasing out the prominent patterns in such networks, tracing the flow of information through them, and discovering what effects these relations and networks have on people and organizations. It can therefore be used to study network patterns of organizations, ideas, and people that connected via various means in an online environment. Figure 1 shows an example of SNA visualization (sociogram). Why do we need it? The shift of the internet from being an information pool to becoming more and more a social setting requires HCI scholars and practitioners to take on board new methods and techniques in order to study social interaction, connection and links between people, sites, ideas and organizations in computer-mediated environments. This topic becomes even more important these days with the increasing popularity of social networking websites (e.g. YouTube, MySpace, MMORPGs etc.) and the research interest in studying them. As people increasingly use online communities for social interaction, new methods are needed to study these phenomena. SNA gives an opportunity to study the complex patterns of online communication. Content This tutorial provides an overview of this analytic technique and demonstrates how it can be used in HCI (especially computer-mediated communication and CSCW) research and practice. The tutorial is divided into two parts, each of which is structured in small groups to maximize interaction among participants In the first part, participants will be introduced to the basic concepts of SNA, and get familiar with the terminology and definitions of SNA. This will include: * Introduction into the components and characteristics of social networks * Information about relational data that is used for SNA along with the different ways that the data can be presented * Presentation of the different measurements of network characteristics within SNA * Discussion of different approaches towards SNA The second part will address the practical uses of SNA. Through a series of interactive exercises, a number of case studies will be demonstrated and discussed. Case studies will be draw from diverse areas (e.g. use of SNA to study age differences in CMC, use of SNA in universal design and research). Ways of using SNA to study new forms of CMC such as MMORPGs, Wikis, blogs etc. will also be discussed. Learning outcomes Upon completion of this tutorial, participants will: * Be able to understand the basics of social network analysis, its terminology and background * Be able to transform communication data to network data * Know practically how social network analysis (SNA) can be applied to HCI (especially CMC) analysis * Get familiar with the use of standard SNA tools and software * Be able to use SNA to derive practical and useful information for the design an innovative and successful online community. Target Audience We welcome researchers and practitioners interested in computer mediated communication, universal design, and other domains of application of that social network analysis. Tutor Biographies Dr. Panayiotis Zaphiris is a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Human-Computer Interaction Design, School of Informatics of City University, London. His research interests lie in HCI with an emphasis on inclusive design and social aspects of computing. He has a strong interested in internet related research (web usability, mathematical modelling of browsing behaviour in hierarchical online information systems, online communities, e-learning, web based digital libraries and social network analysis of online human-to-human interactions). Panayiotis Zaphiris has published over 80 publications in prominent journals (e.g. Zaphiris, P., Sarwar, R. (2006) Trends, Similarities and Differences in the Usage of Teen and Senior Public Online Newsgroups. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), 13(3), 2006, 403-422. ACM Press.) and has presented his work in numerous conferences. He is the editor of 4 books including the recent one: Lambropoulos, N., Zaphiris, P. (2006) User-Centered Design of Online Learning Communities. Hershey, Idea Group Publishing. More information. Ulrike Pfeil is a PhD student at City University London. She has an MSc in HCI from the same university and a BSc in Information Design from Germany. Her research interests include social aspects of computing, especially in computer-mediated communication. She specifically investigates the phenomenon of empathy, especially how characteristics of empathy change in online environments compared to offline ones.