Skip to Main Content
In this paper we will demonstrate the potential of processing and visualising the dynamics of computer-mediated communities by means of Social Network Analysis. According to the fact that computer-mediated community systems are manifested also as structured data, we use data structures like e-mail, discussion boards, and bibliography sources for an automatic transformation into social network data formats. Currently our developed converter DMD (Data Multiplexer Demultiplexer) supports GraphML, UCINET, and Pajek formats besides our own data formats which are used for real-time analysis of CSCL (Computer Supported Collaborative Learning) activities. In the case of communication data our converters utilize conversation graphs reflecting aspects of speech act and conversational theory to produce directed graphs in the cases where one-mode person networks are desired. The paper will demonstrate a 3-dimensional visualisation of an author community based on Bibtex bibliography data converted into GraphML. Based on this dataset we visualise publications network with a tool called Weaver, which is developed in our research group. According to Lothar Krempelpsilas algorithm, Weaver uses the first two dimensions to embed the network structure within a common solution space. The third dimension is used for representing the time axis and thus the dynamics of co-authorship relations.Concluding we aim to discuss potential issues and problems of our approach and the possibilities especially concerning the appropriate visualisation and segmentation of long term communications, such as mailing lists.