Community and Group formation in a Social Network

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    guess I'm a sucker for a good social network diagram. A couple weeks back, I read an article about Cornell professor Jon Kleinberg and his analysis of interactions on social networks. Using data from the LiveJournal blog network, Kleinberg sought to find out what makes some networks grow, and others fail. Below is a picture Kleinberg drew to depict community and group formation inside a social network. Click on the image to get an annotated version that explains the circles and lines in the diagram. This is one example of a "visualization": a way to depict an online community or network in graphical form. It reminded me of other ways people have tried to depict online groups. The best-known examples are probably the scatter plots and treemaps Marc Smith and his colleagues at Microsoft Research have popularized in their analyses of Usenet Newgroups.

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