I had the chance to participate at the ESF-sponsored “Quantitative Methods in Social Sciences – 2” workshop in Amsterdam, on the 18th and 19th of December. Simply put, it was great.
Seeing that I’m quite a newcomer to the field of social network analysis, I learned plenty of new things. Getting acquainted with SNA in the first place had been an eye opener – it might just provide the key to the second phase of my research – the structural analysis of social news webisites, in order to understand whether or not deliberation has anything to do with what gets on the front page.
However, I think it’s also important to consider that social news sites represent one very special kind of social network, with nodes and ties of particular nature, quite unlike their real life counterparts. And – one of the points stressed by many of the speakers at the workshop – the fact that we undertake SNA should not overshadow the importance of content (and its analysis).
Speaking of speakers, I feel obliged to mention the names of Noshir Contractor, Mike Thelwall, Ted Welser, Bernie Hogan, Steven McDermott and Sandra Gonzales-Bailon, whose presentations I found especially interesting – and – well I guess it would be pointless to conceal my self-interest – useful for my own research.