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.
This article discusses the importance of networks from a power perspective. Who in the network controls decisions and why.
This 2014 report titled, Mapping Twitter Topic Networks: From Polarized Crowds to Community ..., is a must-read for anyone trying to understand how social media can be a tool for network building. It includes some tips for visualizing networks of Twitter users, using NodeXL Twitter data importer.
Here's interesting research on how Facebook contributes to expanding social capital. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcc4.12078/full The title is: Cultivating Social Resources on Social Network Sites: Facebook Relationship Maintenance Behaviors and Their Role in Social Capital Processes
I was introduced to this by my participation in the Making Learning Connected MOOC group on Facebook.
Here's a blog article that describes "bonding" and "bridging" social capital. I think of the connection of youth and volunteers in organized tutor/mentor programs as a form of "bridging social capital" and seek to create network analysis tools that programs could use to show how such networks expand over time in programs that are sustained for multiple years.
I've been part of a MetaMaps community on Google, where a new network mapping product is being developed. The Metamaps founders created this Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC map, using the Strategy Map built using CMAP tools.
Here's an article showing how a collaboration community is attempting to use Metamaps to map their network. There's a lot learn from groups like this, and potential connection opportunities.
I've not been able to develop this platform due to lack of manpower and time. It's something a team of volunteers from a company, university, or other group could adopt as a project.
This article, focusing on using social network analysis to evaluate faculty productivity, has a lot of ideas that could be applied to measuring impact of employee volunteer engagement in non profit organizations. It's worth a deep read.
Here's a new blog (2017) that is using Gephi and social network analysis in mapping the growth of a political group in opposition of the new GOP administration in DC.