Types of Social Networks

Types of Social Networks

I’m co-teaching the course Culture, Engagement, and Connectivity in the master Learning of Organization offered by the school of education and public policy at Northwestern’s University. For the virtual office hour I have been asked about what other social networks exists, those that do not involve humans. While my expertise is within human social networks, here is a “brain dump” of what I know or came across. We discussed the flavor network already in class. Other non-human networks we discussed in class was the blogosphere, the disease network, and the gang killing network. While the latter involves human, I’m including it here as I’m assuming this is not a type of network you will work on in your organization. An organizational version of the gang violence network would be a gossip or dislike network.

Flavor Network by Yong-Yeol_Ahn and colleagues

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Feeding habits of European Jackdaws by Mark Tranmer and colleagues (notably Chris Marcum, a friend of mine)

The product space by Cesar Hildago and colleagues

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Research synergies and drug development by Samet Keserci and colleagues.


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The journal of Infometrics has many more networks based on papers and research projects.

Finally, two videos showing social network analysis in action. Both are human networks. The first shows knowledge sharing in teams. Data was collected using a survey. The second shows interaction between medical professionals in a simulated emergency care room. Blue lines indicate information sharing, and red line show sharing of ‘higher-order information’, information that has been processed by summarizing, elaborating, or using decision-making.

Inspiration came from my personal Library, and the Edge.

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