Understanding networks can help "cultivate a collective empathy" and can be a way to rethink citizenship and help develop a feeling of responsibility in individuals and groups that these people are part of." Read this paper and find many ideas that support the the type of network building and information mapping that the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC seeks to be part of.
(Note: in the comments below I've added additional links to SNA articles and software. The most current message is last on the list below.)
In this section of the Tutor/Mentor Connection library I have many links to web sites that talk about concept mapping, network mapping and similar ideas. In this section of the Ning site I encourage people to post articles they find so we can all learn more about this concept and ways to use it for our benefit.
In this section are links to articles about social capital. If we can map the expansion of personal and organizational networks we can demonstrate the growth of thick and bonding social capital.
in 2009 we received donated software from Valdis Krebs and orgnet.com We have attempted to use that and other types of free software to map the networks Tutor/Mentor Connection has been building since before 1993. We have not had consistent manpower to do this work.
In the discussion forums I've added links to additional articles and new software. Please add your own links and offer comments on how you feel this can be use to build networks of people and resources that support the work each of us does to help kids in poverty.
Making sense of your social network is the topic of this blog article.
Here's a blog article by Harold Jarche about Network Thinking . It offers that "One major challenge in helping organizations improve collaboration and knowledge-sharing is getting people to see themselves as nodes in various networks, with different types of relationships between them."
This video shows potential of mapping and visualizing networks.
Here's an article showing Why it's Important to Map your Network. http://www.inc.com/karl-and-bill/3-benefits-of-mapping-your-network...
Here is another really good example of Social Network Analysis used to enhance business practices. Browse the different sections to see the various services and applications of SNA. On this page you can sign in and begin to build your own connections to this network. http://www.optimice.com.au/friends.php
Here's a blog written by one of the people working with this company. http://www.pattianklam.com/blog/
This article provides a perspective on different types of networks that are emerging and supported by technology. Social network analysis could be used on a platform to enable people to self-identify which of these networks they are part of and to connect more easily with other people who are part of the same network. Individuals and organizations can be part of more than one network.
On a more sophisticated level, I encourage you to view this blog. It has quite a few interesting articles about uses of social network analysis and making sense of the maps that get created. http://paolonegrini.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/network-map-of-knowled...
This paper shows a use of Gephi to show the economic environment and networks of people and organizations in Malaysia.
This is an article showing ways to use network analysis tools to expand your network and reach people of influence.
Here's a related article showing how to use Google Ripples to connect to people you want to connect with.
This Phil Willburn blog has many articles focusing on leadership and networking. Each is illustrated with graphics that help illustrate the ideas. This type of understanding would be useful to anyone working to build and sustain youth development, jobs, mentoring programs any where in the world.