Social Network Analysis – measuring the immeasurable.

Euan Semple comments on the topic of social network analysis  (or measuring the immeasurable!).

Euan identifies two points that make him nevous about SNA:

The first is because the activity is invariably couched in terms ofone group – managers, the business – mapping the relationships ofeveryone else – the people prepared to open up and use the social toolsin the first place.

The second is because they seek to make explicit something that ismuch better left implicit. We can all work out what the network is andwhere the good guys are from the using the tools and inhabiting theenvironments they create without having to have it drawn out for us.

If I felt that someone else was mapping my conversions and therelationships they represented – and wasn’t prepared to have the samedone to them, I would soon stop talking.

As I have commented on the blog, I detect a form of management paranoia; they don’t reallyunderstand what social networking is all about, they don’t want to diptheir toes into what they consider to be muddy water, yet at the samethey want to understand it in the only way that makes sense to them -numbers and statistics.

What worries me are the conclusions they may draw from this imprecise and flawed method of evaluation!

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