Netcrowds

Collective actions and collisions on the net.

Archive for the ‘SNA’ Category

Introduction to the case #myyrmanni – identity solving of the suicide bomber 2002

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Here is a compact introduction to the case #myyrmanni in Finland 11.10.2002. Seven people died and over 80 injured accidentally or planned due to heavy homemade with shrapnels bomb exploded in the backpack of the teenager (who died also) on the suburbian Myyrmanni shopping center .

It is very obvious to make expectations and speculations about the connections to the school spree killers and Columbine branch (Jokela 2007 and Kauhajoki 2008 cases in Finland), But this Myyrmanni case 2002 was well before the Columbine and it maybe was an accident. Sounds like a suicide bomber launched his arsenal accidentally, by run into the clown on the mall, but well, real life is amazing. We will never know how the lethal backpack exploded – with or without the assistance of the owner of the stuff.

Myyrmanni is also one of the key cases in my article-based PhD at University of Jyväskylä on the department of sociology. I will cover some details of this case of the netcrowd later in this blog, including the inner dynamics and the roles in the netcrowd. One of my primary material in this case and my PhD is over 27 000 lines of log of the irc channel lines with over 2000 participators, althought most of them are lurkers (1-9-90), as always.

In my pov, there are several leads and findings with this case, how the netcrowd differs and actually *do* things compared for example to the instant classic of the Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki. Also, these findings reflect straight for example to the classic works of Robert D. Putnam (social capital; binding and bridging ties) and Mark Granovetter (strong and weak ties). Open social networks like netcrowds have more nuanced relationships and ties than just bonding / bridging or strong / weak.

With Ossi Leander, we reconstrued for the biggest newspaper in Finland, Helsingin Sanomat (HS), what happened on the netcrowd side. How the netcrowd solved the identity of the suicider approximately at the same time than both police and media?

Just for the sake of no-repeating or copy-paste, here is the english and published version of our timetable article of the case #myyrmanni, originally in Finnish.

After Tianamen 1989, Seattle 1999 and Manila 2001, this #myyrmanni case was the very first what kicked me off: is there some kind of pattern with these cases, or inside the cases some phases like project-based coordinative actions or so? For example, Tarmo Toikkanen has the brilliant blog marking about waterfall project model and its quests.

Do common people make these efforts ad hoc and start always from the zero point? Are there some replicable or reproducible features for success of the netcrowd? In this blog, I’ll cover these issues deeper.

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Written by kariahintikka

March 26, 2009 at 5:58 pm

More of less Dunbar and childhood on the facebook

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Dunbar’s number is a theoretical cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships and minding businesses of other familiar people (in the neocortex region of the brain). Discovered by anthropologist Robin Dunbar, the number is commonly cited approximately 150. So, the number is the estimation how many people can know each other well at the same time.

After social media services on the net, this number is considered much higher than 150, like amount of friends in facebook or contacts in Jaiku. On the other hands, there are estimations that the core network of human beign is much less than 150. The discussion is starting to reach out of hands.

First, Dunbar made his unique observation with ape and human hunter-gatherer societies, also for example among regilious Hutterites and the military. These are all tight cohesive communities with physical presence and in many cases, they have some outer or inner restrictions to have more or mixed population. This means that you do not have much choice who do you will meet and actually you are ‘forced’ to mind common i.e. collective businesses and the people related to them.

Secondly, if your descendants somehow happen to born in facebook, its is presumable that they will have much more deep reationships than just 150 because they’ve spent their whole life there and have had time to meet much more people and much more efficiently than in hunter-gatherer societies.

Thirdly, on the net, you spend much less time in one network service and you can communicate between of them for example with Feedworld and micro channels without any physical restrictions to reach or even no need to log into the services.

So, more logical would be to count the overall number of contacts in all social networks. For example I have 247 contacts and channel memberships in Jaiku, 332 ‘friends’ in facebook, 150 followers in Twitter and 65 ‘friends’ in Sometu Ning network. There are other networks also, like many of us have.

But by stetson estimation, there might be some 30 procent contact overlapping with different services i.e. I have relationships with same peoples reagardless of the service. By stetson method more and without any actual calculating, I suppose I have 20 – 40 persons I deeply chat, irc, sms, skype, email etc in daily or weekly basis.

As Howard Rheingold wrote recently, Peter Marsden has thought that most humans maintain a much smaller core network than 150.

That’s make much sense to me on the age of the net. Basically it is possible to have much more relationship on the net. But, it is stil time-consuming and laborius work to manage them in personal level, like Clay Shirky has presented in Here Comes Everybody.

At the moment I’m making sna analysis of Sometu Ning network with 841 members. In my preliminary findings, there are some 10-20 core people who make the core network. This means, that quite a many persons, who have 10-20 contacts, have make mostly their contants just to these core people. More about the analysis of Sometu during the spring.

Written by kariahintikka

March 7, 2009 at 11:53 am

How Piratpartiet.se is linked on the Internet – a graph w IssueCrawler

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The trial is going on in Sweden against The Pirate Bay. It might be interesting to see how the official party wing – Piratpartiet – and its www site is connected on the net.

Graph 1: How pirate party www sites were connected in April, 2007.

Original 1200px img dl here (1,2mb png)

I made this SNA graph about piratpartiet.se in April, 2007 with IssueCrawler, a very recommendable and free SNA tool on the net invented by Govcom.org and its director dr Richard Rogers. I cover IC issues later more, but the basic idea of this tools is, that it crawls voluntarily made www links between the www sites. So this (human-made) www linking indicates, that people who make links, somehow appreciate the sites to they are linking. This means that you can make at least slight expectations which kind of people or movement is making these links.

The graph shows at least that Piratpartiet.se is much more networked than to piracy issues only. There are heavy connections to issues like wikis, copyrights, open source etc. and that indicates that people in the party are more keen about the overall issues than just swapping commercial files for free.

The Piratpartiet.se graph is a part of my article Pirates in politics – internet piracy as individualised politics (2008). It was published with deeper analysis about the Swedish piracy movement itself in Net working / Networking: Citizen Initiated Internet Politics (Tapio Häyhtiö and Jarmo Rinne eds., Tampere University Press 2008). Introduction about the anthology in facebook.

The anthology Net working / Networking itself is some kind of quite interesting update to the net activism issues nowadays handled previously in the dawn of hactivism in another anthology: McCaughey, Martha & Ayers, Michael D. (eds.) (2003). Cyberactivism. Online Activism in Theory and Practice. Routledge, New York.

Written by kariahintikka

March 6, 2009 at 10:23 pm