Visualizing Threaded Conversation Networks: Mining Message Boards and Email Lists for Actionable Insights

  • Derek L. Hansen
  • Ben Shneiderman
  • Marc Smith
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6335)


Analyzing complex online relationships is a difficult job, but new information visualization tools are enabling a wider range of users to make actionable insights from the growing volume of online data. This paper describes the challenges and methods for conducting analyses of threaded conversations such as found in enterprise message boards, email lists, and forums. After defining threaded conversation, we characterize the types of networks that can be extracted from them. We then provide 3 mini case studies to illustrate how actionable insights for community managers can be gained by applying the network analysis metrics and visualizations available in the free, open source NodeXL tool, which is a powerful, yet easy-to-use tool embedded in Excel 2007/2010.


Affiliation Network Core Member Email List High Betweenness Centrality Graph Metrics 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Derek L. Hansen
    • 1
  • Ben Shneiderman
    • 2
  • Marc Smith
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Information Studies & Center for the Advanced Study of Communities and InformationUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.Dept. Of Computer Science & Human-Computer Interaction LabUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  3. 3.Connected Action Consulting Group, Silicon ValleyUSA

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