Social Networking Agenda| Reading Social Networks

Questions to Explore
Questions about People/Roles
1. Who are the nodes in the network that you are reading/analyzing? Where do you see boundaries of membership in this network? How do you know they exist? (Self-identified or apparent to readers?)

  • Educators, administrators, people in the education field, those interested in education. You have to be approved to be allowed to contribute to parts of the site. Our questions: What are they looking for, who do they deny? This seems to be based on K-12 educators from first glance but may apply to others.
2. How are they connected? From what perspective are you reading the network – how are you seeing the connections? How might another reader see those connections? The same? Differently? How do you know?
  • Being parts of different groups, forums are very popular, chat functions. If you haven't been accepted as a member, you don't have access to all of the connections. Non-accepted members can see recent posts, but don't have access to all functions. Part of the reason you must be approved as a member is to avoid spammers.
3. Who are the "leaders" in the network? How do they lead? How do you know? What other networks are the leaders connected to?
  • There are 5 hosts and the network creator. They are available to answer questions, looking for connections, attempt to draw attention to valuable or unnoticed contributions. The leaders are connected to other teaching organizations, professional groups, etc.
4. How do you view your role within the network? Leader? Follower? Participant? Antagonist? Lurker? Observer? Other? How are you able to participate in the network?
  • You start out as an observer but are slowly drawn into becoming a participant in the network.
5. How do you know who "belongs" to this particular network?
  • There is a members list on the top, rather than on the side or bottom.
6. If you're an active participant in the network, how has your participation influenced you? How has your participation influenced the network? How do you know? What actions or behaviors will you engage in due to your participation in this network?
  • Other people are able to give you feedback, teachers across country can collaborate. Enhancing your curriculum or trying new things. Exchanging information and getting new ideas. Being able to connect to people from around the world will expand our knowledge.
7. How would you describe the relationships between "members" of this network? Professional? Personal? Collegial? Something in between? How do "members" relate to new or non "members?" How are those relationships expressed? Collegial/professional. Some of the blog posts slightly more comfortable, but for the most part, it stayed professional. New members are able to find information based on tags or specific programs/tools they are looking for.

Questions about Content/Communication

8. What is the social significance of this network? Does it have an agenda?

  • Connect educators and exchange information. We don't see a business/fiscal agenda behind this site.
9. What are the boundaries of this particular network/site? How do you know?
  • You can only observe if you haven't been accepted onto the site yet. You can still get information but you cannot contribute.

10. Who owns the content of the site? How do you know?

  • You still own your content according to Ning TOS.

11. What communication channels exist in this network/site? Which ones seem the most used? Least used? Why?

  • Forums are popular 2 out of 24 people online were chatting, but we were not signed on at set times. Classroom 2.0 Live events are listed, but there is not a lot of information that we found in our short time exploring the site, it might be something to look into more in depth.

Questions about Rules/Expectations

12. What practices or beliefs are communicated through the network? Are these explicit? Implicit? What methods of communication are privileged in the network? Under or unvalued? How do you know?

  • As an observer, it is hard to tell at first glance. The videos/live events show that the leaders are listening to what the people are interested in/asking by addressing specific needs or interests. Helping people learn how to use specific tools and find information that they are looking for. This is conveyed through the way page is designed/organized and the tabs on the top that the organizer chooses to display.
13. What is the stated purpose of this network? Does the network activity reflect this stated purpose - or a different one? How do you know?
14. What social norms exist to moderate behavior in this network? Rules? Structures of power? How do members learn of them? This group prohibits offensive materials or spamming. This is conveyed on the main page. Users are not allowed on the page until they are approved by the site organizers.