Monday, June 16, 2008

Measuring Small Worlds

Small world networks At our Small Worlds project meeting on Friday, we finished off by briefly thinking about an evaluation strategy, and came up with the usual fairly lame qualitative solutions. But it's a hard nut to crack, tracking user behavior online across multiple networks after you encourage people to roam freely around the interweb and make their own connections.

On Friday night, Jo sent me a tweet about a possible approach, using seeding tracking URLs into a network. That set me thinking, and so far, this is what I've come up with:

Tagging: Use a unique tag and follow the progress of a tweet across networks using Twittersearch, Summize, Tweetscan or Twemes.

For URL tracking, we could use Twitt(url)y. (I'm not sure that Twitterfeed is needed Jo, we can just seed the ping URLs manually).

To track locality: Twittermap and Twitterlocal.

We also plan to use various network visualization tools, such as Tweetwheel or something else, and network explorer.

All I need to do now is figure out how to phrase all this for the research ethics form!