As I add various friends on my social networks and web 2.0 sites, I’m often struck by how much overlap there is. I have the same friends in 20 different places. This got me thinking about what this network of networks means to me. What is the impact of the overlap (and lack of overlap)? And a bigger picture: what does this web of relationships look like? What does it mean for the professional communication within library and information science?
I think it would be an interesting study to examine librarians in social networks, to see how Flickr, Twitter, del.icio.us, Facebook, Myspace, Ning, YouTube, LibraryThing, WordPress, Blogger, and other tools interact and overlap. To see who has the most friends, which friends are most widespread, which tools are most used.
This is a large and daunting dataset to examine. It needs to be done as a relational database. Each person needs to have all their social networking tools recorded, but also all the friends they have in each specific tool. It would be a bit like doing a citation analysis in Web of Science. Where are the citations? Who are the most cited authors? Who is citing them?
How would I begin to gather all this data? How would I record the info? How would I analyse the data? How present it visually? I think some graphs or 3-d maps would be interesting. Scratches chin.