Let's divide the conversation into three parts. In the area where you've posted your first work, let's keep talking about ways to display SNA info, and challenges you might be having. Let's also try to recruit others, since it looks like Jonathan won't be able to stay involved.
In this discussion let's talk about how SNA can be used for the conference in May. I'd like to be able to create a presentation/workshop, showing what the potential for SNA is, and how it helps us show the growth of the network being supported by the conferences and the T/MC. Valdis had some suggestions on this, which I encourage him to repeat here.
Then, in a third disucssion, let's talk about how we might map the networks for our teens. I'll copy some of what you wrote into that one, as a starting point, then offer my thoughts.
1) set the nodes to be the organizations (not individuals). For some of the attendees there was no organization listed and we could either use the individuals in those cases or have a generic "Independent" node (not ideal, but might be effective for demo purposes). Nodes would be organizations with the "workgroup" or "affiliation" being the kind of organization: school, community, religious, etc., or even location: Chicago, Cook County, Indiana, whatever makes sense. Those would determine the color of the nodes.
The Links would then be mapped organization to organization, strength being the number of conferences attended together and network would all be the same (like in the sample maps of our group).
We would have one nodes list of all organizations, but multiple links files that would reflect a cumulative increase in the strength as time progressed. The first one would be links only for the the May 2007 conference, the second file would be links with the strength increased for those organizations that attended both the last conference and the May 2008 conference, the third file would reflect increased strengths for those organizations that also attended the November 2008 conference together, and so on.
This option would show the network among the organizations changing at different time intervals corresponding to each conference (like we had a "pre-InFlow training" link file, and a "post-InFlow training" link file for our testing).
2) I like the visual of the attendees being clustered around the conference as a "hub," but I'm not wrapping my head around how to necessarily get that result. I think to do that we'd have to get the conferences in there as nodes. Then in each link file we'd have the conference listed like it was another organizations in attendance with a relationship to each attendee. The conferences would appear as a very connected person, but we loose the progression of how the network is growing.
What do you think? To me, option 1 makes more sense. Maybe mapping individuals instead of organizations is better for more in depth analysis, but I think that using organizations as nodes will make the maps simpler and more understandable for the "demo" or introduction at the conference.
If this makes sense, we can start setting up the .csv files. I should be able to get to the Tutor/MEntor office to plug some of this into InFlow on Monday, April 26. Big projects at work are in a lull, so I shouldn't have a problem being available on Monday.
Looks like we've got info for the past 5 conferences. That's 5 links files and 1 node file. I can create the node file and the link files for May 2007 and May 2008. Then could you create the links files for November 2008, May 2009, and November 2009?
Does it seem like we're on track? Better ideas for a plan of action?
This seems like we are on track. I think option 1 sounds like a good way to go for the conference in May. I agree that mapping organizations and not individuals will be better for our immediate purposes, but don't think that if someone attended as an individual they should be clumped into a generic independent. Rather, I think treating them as a separate organization would more accurately reflect the network formed. I can create the link files for Nov. 08, May 09 and Nov. 09, but I will not be able to make it in or probably have these complete until after Mon. May 3, when I am done with class. I should be able to make it in on the morning of Wed. May 5 to work on them. In order to keep the files consistent, it may be helpful if you email me the files that you create.
I think we should organize links by work-group type (like you were saying religious, school, etc., just let me know what you use to keep them consistent... we'll make a standard vocabulary to use), not locationally, just because the vast majority of the organizations are in Chicago-land.
As far as our scale goes, I agree with having it increase with each conference, but I think it should be with the number of conferences that the organization attended. Therefore, if they attended conference no. 5, but it was their first conference, they would be a 1. I think that will help to visualize who are recurring participants/actively involved in this community.
Sorry it took a bit for me to get back to you.... it's just the busyness of wrapping up the semester.
I went in this morning to work on the project and found out some varying things. I had trouble hiding nodes that did not attend a conference, I'm not sure why, so I reduced the node file (and saved it separately) for the one conference that I am focusing on. Anne, if you have any insight on how to hide nodes with no connections going to them, I would greatly appreciate it!
Due to time constraints, I have made .csv files for the three conferences, but have, not surprisingly, encountered smallish problems with creating In-Flow maps. For this reason, I plan to focus on a single conference (May 2008) and creating a map that shows the links between the attendees.
On, another note, the slot at the conference during which SNA is going to be discussed is on Friday morning at 9:40. I plan to attend and maybe speak a bit about what we are doing. Anne, would you be interested in attending? Let me know. I am registering with the website (accessible via the T/M C web-page.
Also, let me know any progress you are making. I will go in on Friday morning to try to finish up this one map, but will not have time to complete more prior to the conference.
For the presentation next Friday, let's put together an outline on Ning. I realize that the total time slot is 70 minutes, but from the description I understand that we will be talking about more than simply the SNA initiative, but also the other computer-oriented programs, both mapping and otherwise, that Tutor/Mentor Connections is utilizing currently. Please correct me if this is wrong. How much time would you like to devote to the SNA portion. I think that talking for about 10 minutes seems appropriate, but we could go longer/shorter.
Three areas I would like to talk about involving InFlow are:
1. Mapping the network of volunteer organizations and it's potentials...
-Showing how attending the conference increases the network of tutoring organizations, helping them to find ideas and solutions to problems, as well as other organizations that can work well together
2. Mapping the students
-I know we don't really have any of the these maps complete, but I think that showing the network that a student enters with and then the network that they exit with can help in multiple ways. On one hand it could help with fundraising as a visual example of the growth some of these children and teenagers are making. It can also be useful in determining what type of support network might need to be built up for each child, because they enter the program with individual histories.
3. Show our small group maps as an example.
Let me know what you think of this. Please add your own ideas and more information.
We'll have the whole 70 minutes to ourselves, unless a group working on a comparison of T/MC to other cities, is able to report their findings.
I like what you have suggested.
1) I'd like you two to talk about the potential of mapping the network of tutor/mentor programs, based on your own understanding.
2) then introduce mapping the students, and show the ppts that I posted to illustrate what we are thinking about.
In both of these, I'll follow your lead and expand on what you're saying with my own comments.
3) show our small group maps as a "this is where we are so far"
Then, talk about next steps for instance
4) while we are able to show how all of the conference participants are connected to T/MC, we can't yet show how the participants connect to each other. To do that we need to develop some sort of survey and enlist the support of conference participants to respond
5) while we want to map the network of students, we don't have manpower or funding to do this yet
6) thus, we want to expand the network of volunteers and interns who might work on this project
7) so that in November we can show progress from where we are now
leave time for questions and discussion
Anne, what do you think? Valdis, if you're reading this, what would you add?
Do you have any graphic that you'd want to be used as a handout for the conference? I created this one page. Do you want to add anything to it? You can do that and email it back to me if you like. We can talk to what these graphics are intended to show.
Unfortunately, I have had some last minute family obligations come up and I will not be able to be at the conference on Friday morning. I apologize for the late notice, but I'm kind of in a bind with my schedule this week and next.
I think the outline of what to present looks good. I'd be happy to work on fleshing out a few areas and write up a narrative for someone to work from if that's helpful.
Let me know what you need from me for Friday.
I'm sorry for being so out of the loop as the conference approaches -- I'll do what I can over the next couple of days and will be able to refocus on this come mid-June.
If you can add anything to the handout I posted, please do and then email that to me, or repost it as a revision.
We'll keep moving forward with this and do what we can as we have the time. One thing you and Katie might do is send an email blast out to Dominican to see if other students might want to attend that workshop and see what we are doing. We can give scholarships to anyone who wants to come. This is how Anne recruited you and maybe we can add a couple more people, or even some donors, over the summer.
I looked at both the Handout and the Powerpoint Presentation. I can add the images that we have worked on, and maybe attach a data file to show as an example (let me know what you think). I don't have these with me because I am at work, but will add them to the Powerpoint tonight and repost it here. The Powerpoint is very good and I'm looking forward to participating. I think tonight I will split the single screen that you have (based on my outline above) into three more engaging slides.
I think that the handout looks very good.
For the survey, mentioned on the last slide, maybe we could ask if they would be willing to fill out a survey that we will send out (via email?) at a later date.
Good suggestions. Go ahead and add what you feel helps. Then upload it. Getting their "buy in" to respond to a survey is one of the goals. You and I are doing this Friday morning. I hope during lunch when I introduce the speaker, I speak a little about the project, encourage everyone who is there to respond to any survey we send.