Analyzing the Experience of Networked Flow Through Social Network Analysis
Focusing its attention on Social Network Analysis, this chapter describes a methodological proposal pertaining to the monitoring and analysis of the dynamics which characterize the collective experience of Networked Flow. Since the Networked Flow is a social process that evolves thanks to the relationships of a set of persons, its study needs techniques of inquiry that consider adequately the structural dynamics of the interactions between the involved actors. So this chapter is intended to show how the SNA could be applied to the typical interactional dynamics of the Networked Flow process. It presents three different ways of using SNA which can help the understanding and analysis of some of the typical dynamics described in the other chapters of this book. The first is the use of SNA to analyze a network’s communicative structure such as an online group. The first example of the application of SNA relates SNA indices to two variables which can be particularly relevant for the experience of networked flow, or rather, in what depth a group discusses/analyzes given subjects and the performance which originates from the group’s collective action. The second way in which SNA can be used is directed toward a longitudinal analysis of the interactions which characterize a given network of people. In this case, the chapters present the longitudinal use of SNA to monitor and analyze the evolution through time of the relations between participants in an online social network in the field of education. The need to go beyond quantitative data and to take account of the content of the exchanges within a network may however turn out to be crucial to fully understand its dynamics, above all if we consider semantic networks. The final way in which SNA is used therefore concerns the links between concepts as opposed to the links between people.