As Chrystie flies across the world (I’ll miss ya), I’ll take the opportunity to post a few things here.
One of the theories we’re using for the development of LBC is Social Network Analysis (SNA). It’s a pretty broad term that’s thrown around as much as phrases like “[fill in the blank] 2.0” these days. If you look back into the history of SNA, you’ll see a rich base of practical operations churned on from the theories. Many businesses, schools, and other organizations have succeeded because of the inner workings of SNA, which involves trust, cooperation, expertese, and communication among and within groups. It’s really fascinating.
Today, I came across a white paper [PDF] by Valdis Krebs and June Holley titled, “Building Smart Communities through Network Weaving”. This is the introductory paragraph:
“Communities are built on connections. Better connections usually provide better opportunities. But, what are better connections, and how do they lead to more effective and productive communities? How do we build connected communities that create, and take advantage of, opportunities in their region or marketplace? How does success emerge from the complex interactions within communities?”
“This paper investigates building sustainable communities through improving their connectivity – internally and externally – using network ties to create economic opportunities. Improved connectivity is created through an iterative process of knowing the network and knitting the network.”
Pretty neat, eh? I’ve never heard of the concept of network weaving, but I intend to pour over the contents of this paper as well as subscribe to the blog with the same title (by the same authors).
Obviously, the study of SNA could increase the way we meet and intereact with our communities, but within the library as well, with patrons and colleagues. Social Networks have never been studied in the library literature (as far as I’ve seen – I might have missed something) when dealing with community building…until now, that is.
What’s your take on all of this?