Hansen, D., Rotman, D., Bonsignore, E., Milic-Frayling, N., Rodrigues, E., Smith, M., Shneiderman, B. (September 2009)
Traces of activity left by social media users can shed light on individual behavior, social relationships, and community efficacy. Tools and processes to analyze social traces are essential for enabling practitioners to study and nurture meaningful and sustainable social interaction. Yet such tools and processes remain in their infancy. We conducted a study of 15 graduate students who were learning to apply Social Network Analysis (SNA) to data from online communities. Based on close observations of their emergent practices, we derived the Network Analysis and Visualization (NAV) process model and identified stages where intervention from peers, experts, and an SNA tool were most useful. We show how the NAV model informs the design of SNA tools and services, education practices, and support for social media practitioners.