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The rapid growth of socio-technical systems, social media and social networking websites has raised the importance of understanding the determinants of their success. The pressure to understand success is increased by the shift from playful discretionary applications to mission critical applications in government, business, and civic settings. These include homeland defense, energy sustainability, environmental conservation, disaster response, and community safety. Information visualization tools and statistical methods can both be helpful, but their utility grows when they are well-integrated. This talk will demonstrate novel tools for network evolution and offer a framework for thinking about motivating technology-mediated social participation.