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Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL: Insights from a Connected World [Paperback]

by Derek Hansen, Ben Shneiderman, Marc A. Smith
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 10, 2010 9780123822291 978-0123822291 1

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 to 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.

To learn more about Analyzing Social Media Networks and NodeXL, visit the companion site at www.mkp.com/nodexl

*Walks you through NodeXL, while explaining the theory and development behind each step, providing takeaways that can apply to any SNA

*Demonstrates how visual analytics research can be applied to SNA tools for the mass market

*Includes case studies from researchers who use NodeXL on popular networks like email, Facebook, Twitter, and wikis


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Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL: Insights from a Connected World + Social Network Analysis: History, Theory and Methodology
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Hansen, Shneiderman, and Smith, along with their collaborators, have written a readable introduction to the field of social media network analysis. Furthermore, the book is a nice tutorial on an interesting tool that readers can experiment with on their own. For example, the readers can simply use the Facebook application provided by Bernie Hogan, one of the book's collaborators, to analyze the ego networks that they know best: their own network of friends, family, and acquaintances. This book offers a sure way to understand some of the basic concepts of network analysis."--Computing Reviews

"This is a niche book that is also multi-discliplinary. NodeXL has involved experts in information studies, computer science, sociology, human-computer interaction and cultural studies and this book has contributions from researchers in all these fields and more. It is however highly practical and will motivate readers to use this tool for their own research."--I-Programmer.info

"The authors explore the applications of Microsoft's NodeXL, a free, open-source social network analysis (SNA) plug-in for use with Excel. It provides instant graphical representation of relationships of complex networked data, drawing on over 20 years of visual analytic theory and information visualization."--Usability News

From the Back Cover

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 all into one tool that you can use. NodeXL is important if you are studying visual and network analytics and their real-world applications.

In Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL, members of the NodeXL development team up to provide readers with a thorough and practical guide for using the tool while also explaining the development behind each feature.  

To learn more about Analyzing Social Media Networks and NodeXL, visit the companion site at www.mkp.com/nodexl


Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 1 edition (September 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780123822291
  • ISBN-13: 978-0123822291
  • ASIN: 0123822297
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #288,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Intended to be an introduction and guide to the application of social network analysis (SNA) to the realm of social media, readers interested in how we can use methodologies of SNA and mathematical applications of graph and networking theory, to analyze the social media networks that form when individuals link-up or respond to each other, will want to purchase and study this book.

First, some background notes. This book has its roots in the work of an organization that has received generous funding support from Microsoft, called The Social Media Research Foundation. The Foundation has made significant progress in the development of open tools and open data sets for the purpose of encouraging open scholarship in the realm of social media and worked hard to develop tools that allow for better visualization and analysis of such widely used services as email, Wikis, Twitter, flickr, YouTube, Facebook, and the World Wide Web (WWW).

However, tracking content flowing through social media can be like trying to drink from an open fire hose. Realizing this, the Foundation began to focus resources and personnel on efforts to utilize ideas from the social sciences to follow the "social media swarm" of comments, favorites, product tags, ratings and links, in order to discern the key words, individuals and topics being communicated here and there. One of the tangible results of their work is the Foundation's release of a free and open product referred to as "NodeXL." The application itself is "a spreadsheet add-in," that is designed to support macro-views of networks for the purpose of "discovery and exploration." The Microsoft-funded research team built this tool to fit inside the user's copy of Excel in either Office 2007or 2010.

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Publication on Network Analysis October 30, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been using NodeXL , which is a plug-in for Excel, for some time now. It just keeps getting better and better, and has become one of my network analysis tools of choice and one of the tools we use in HyperEdge Pty Ltd . I therefore had no hesitation in pre-ordering "Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL: Insights from a Connected World" by Derek Hansen, Ben Shneiderman, and Marc Smith. Undoubtedly this is one of the better network analysis books on the market, and I unreservedly give it five stars. It is all the more better because it provides a comprehensive tutorial over several chapters on how to get the best from NodeXL.

The book has 15 chapters organised into three sections. The first three chapters serve as an introduction to social network analysis and social media like Twitter, Flickr and Facebook - none of which I use. I particularly like the chapter structure, which is consistent throughout the book. Each chapter provides key definitions and themes and finishes with both a "Practitioner's Summary" and a "Researcher's Agenda" - this means one can skim the book and quickly locate personal interests. Chapter 3 is elegant in its definitions and summary of key network analysis concepts. I particularly liked the idea of `network nirvana':

. every vertex is visible;
. every vertex's degree is countable;
. every edge can be followed from source to destination; and
. clusters and outliers are identifiable.

Section 2 is called "NodeXL Tutorial: Learning By Doing" and consists of four chapters. These chapters are, in my opinion, the heart of the book. They cover all the key elements of using NodeXL for network analysis, including layout, labelling and metrics.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Overview of an Important Emerging Science February 6, 2011
Format:Paperback
I purchased this book because I was interested in harvesting the data from my twitter, facebook, and other networking sources online, and the text made pulling that data and crafting beautiful graphs with it quick and easy. What surprised me, however, was how fascinating exploring this data was. With my Facebook network map, I found my friends naturally grouped into categories. With my Twitter map, I found key people in my social network who served as the glue keeping us together. I highly recommend this book, not just for these fun data-explorations, but also for a fantastic introduction into the world of Social Network Science, which is already extremely important in our increasingly networked world.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and top notch for what it is July 24, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Truly an impressive work, this easy to read text should be the go-to resource for anyone interested in mapping and analyzing social media. Specifically, this is an introduction to using NodeXL in determining patterns displayed through Microsoft's free Excel plug-in analytics.

Full color graphics, screen captures and charts made this convoluted topic a joy to navigate. Social media platforms are presented as a sort of ecosystem, centering on various common nodes, and present the internet as the true 'web' it is. It's cool stuff. There is even a sense of humor apparent. Still, it's not light reading. This is more like an easygoing but studious textbook.

Especially interesting are the chapters about Emailing, Thread networks (from Usenet groups to boards and forums), Twitter, Facebook, Hyperlink activity, Flickr accounts, YouTube and the various wikis. I like the specific details mentioned. A few sample Twitter insights: @reply frequency is a better indicator of relationship than where someone is a friend or follower, hashtags allow large, meaningful conversations to converge out of the background noise, and that retweets change the way we look at attribution.

Make no mistake, though: the bulk of the writing herein is about mapping data and looking at said presentation of such.

If you like studying patterns, statistics, and hubs of activity on the internet, this book makes for a great study. If you just want to learn about social networks, this book is a little too dense and involved for casual reading. For the topic at hand, highly recommended. Otherwise, you'll want to skip this purchase.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book on NodeXL and Network Analysis
If you are using NodeXL and want guidance on what to do and how to do it, this is your book. It covers the application and approach very clearly.
Published 6 hours ago by Eric D. Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Additional Insights into Social Media
This book on NodeXL is well put together and insightful on modern techniques in network analysis. NodeXL is easy to download and the book helps walk through the different... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Tyson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
outstanding book useful for teaching a course or for independent study great illustrations and data sets and references well organized with index and full frontsmatter strongly... Read more
Published 1 month ago by K. A. Harman
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Social Media Network Analysis Primer
So many organizations have data but do not know what to do with it. Promises were made that the rise of social media would help organizations better capture our personalities and... Read more
Published 11 months ago by CG
5.0 out of 5 stars Love NodeXL
This book is the how-to manual for NodeXL, the free Excel plugin that helps with social network analysis. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Scrunch The Cat
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent tutorial for a valuable investigative tool
My business is computer forensics. Essentially (and greatly over-simplified) I search for data that may be pertinent or relevant to particular litigation. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Jerry Saperstein
5.0 out of 5 stars NodeXL to the Rescue
THE resource for using NodeXL. Has great case examples and addressed a number of the questions I had about using the software. Read more
Published on March 26, 2012 by S. Kistler
5.0 out of 5 stars A Definitive Reference on Using NodeXL
"Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL: Insights from a Connected World" is an excellent reference guide for using NodeXL to analyze social media networks. Read more
Published on January 12, 2012 by John W. Graham
4.0 out of 5 stars Tells how to use the software, not how to analyze networks
If you want to learn how to use NodeXL, you've come to the right place. Go ahead and buy this without hesitation. Read more
Published on February 7, 2011 by Dan Bergevin
5.0 out of 5 stars A great find for me
This book on analyzing social networks have been a great find for me. Honestly, I was not expecting much more than a user manual for the NodeXL system when I saw the book. Read more
Published on January 24, 2011 by Sukru Tikves
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