Links & Notes

Here are few links that captured my attention this week.

  • If a network is broken, break it more: New research from Northwestern University suggests that, instead of replacing the damaged lines in a network, we could restore the whole network by strategically disconnecting even more lines
  • Social Network Analysis: making invisible work visible: The paradox is that organizations continue to allocate a significant proportion of their IT budgets on communications infrastructure and ‘social software’ and virtually nothing on systems and tools that can analyze how effective this investment is.
  • Unstoppable march of big data: The driving force of big data is not technology, but the economics of data storage. Cell phones, lifts, doors and weather stations always used to throw out tremendous amounts of data every few seconds; we just never used to record it. Now we can.


  • Interesting app I spotted this week called Coffitivity that supposedly offers just enough noise to get work done
  • A great compilation of resources for obtaining, handling and visualizing data
  • A video, inspired from Sherry Turkle’s book Alone Together, “the innovation of loneliness” is worth pondering as you unplug this weekend!

“Network theory” vs “Theory of networks”

It should also be noted that SNA theorizing encompasses two (analytically) distinct domains, which we refer to as “network theory” proper and “theory of net-works.” Network theory refers to the mechanisms and processes that interact with network structures to yield certain outcomes for individuals and groups. In the terminology of Brass (2002), network theory is about the consequences of network variables, such as having many ties or being centrally located. In contrast, theory of networks refers to the processes that determine why networks have the structures they do—the antecedents of network properties, in Brass’s terms. This includes models of who forms what kind of tie with whom, who becomes central, and what characteristics (e.g., centralization or small-worldness) the network as a whole will have.

Source: On Network Theory – Borgatti & Halgin