Recommended browsing for topics ranging from cultural variables in networks through multiple interesting angles of "New Network Theory" including addressing network dynamics, study of knitting communities, and "foam theory" promoted by Mirko Tobias Schaefer's. It calls for new methods to map social relations on the internet.
"He states that there are different layers of interaction, no strict borders between communities, pseudo-communities and massive user interaction. They are permeable. Schaefer sees the web as a sociotechnological ecosystem which best approach is to consider it like foam (Sloterdijk, 2004); beer or shampoo, whatever you like most. Because of its multi chamber systems whose cells are seperated by thin cells which are highly permeable, this would be the best metaphor for the Internet network."
Given our experiment in process using a wiki to co-create an article on "Learning through Participation and Connected Intelligence" the report of Katy Borner's presentation on Global Brain Pressures: Towards Scholarly Marketplaces is a find. It discusses co-authorship networks, calls for a marketplace model to maximize the global brain, and to help transform the way science is done with:
“an open source, community-driven framework/application for the integration and utilization of datasets, algorithms, tools, and computing resources.”
Read on to learn from network studies regarding bird flu, health information, life cycles and "Linking and the network imaginary”. And if that's not enough there's the social life of (technologically-enhanced) pets and their owners:
"Noshir begins with a story of the social life of (technologically-enhanced) pets. Your smart-tagged dog can meet other dogs and exchange information. When your dog returns home, that information can be downloaded, you can learn about your dogs’ friends, the owners of those dogs, set up dog dates and so on. What is new today, for us even more than for pets, is the extent to which we use technology to find new social networks rather than cementing existing ones. And this creates the need for a multi-theoretical, multi-level approach to understanding social behavior."
From a distance the New Network Theory conference appears a veritable brain workout.
~ Jenny Ambrozek