Social Network Analysis for Startups
Finding connections on the social web
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: September 2011
Pages: 192

Does your startup rely on social network analysis? This concise guide provides a statistical framework to help you identify social processes hidden among the tons of data now available.

Social network analysis (SNA) is a discipline that predates Facebook and Twitter by 30 years. Through expert SNA researchers, you'll learn concepts and techniques for recognizing patterns in social media, political groups, companies, cultural trends, and interpersonal networks. You'll also learn how to use Python and other open source tools—such as NetworkX, NumPy, and Matplotlib—to gather, analyze, and visualize social data. This book is the perfect marriage between social network theory and practice, and a valuable source of insight and ideas.

  • Discover how internal social networks affect a company’s ability to perform
  • Follow terrorists and revolutionaries through the 1998 Khobar Towers bombing, the 9/11 attacks, and the Egyptian uprising
  • Learn how a single special-interest group can control the outcome of a national election
  • Examine relationships between companies through investment networks and shared boards of directors
  • Delve into the anatomy of cultural fads and trends—offline phenomena often mediated by Twitter and Facebook
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oreillySocial Network Analysis for Startups
 
4.7

(based on 3 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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    (1)

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Pros

  • Easy to understand (3)
  • Helpful examples (3)
  • Well-written (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate (3)
    • Novice (3)

    Reviewed by 3 customers

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    (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Excellent

    By doug

    from San Francisco, CA

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

    • Not comprehensive enough

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate
    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Social Network Analysis for Startups:

    There should be more books like this. The authors chose an efficient blend of theory and praxis such that a diligent reader with no prior knowledge of SNA can about as quickly and painlessly as possible, acquire a "conversational" fluency--not expertise, but enough knowledge so that you can: (i) spot problems likely soluble using SNA; and (ii) apply SNA to solve a fair portion of such problems that you are likely to encounter in day-to-day practice. I admire the discipline and focus shown by the authors, who, faced with the reality that the practical application of graph theory to online social networks is a lifetime's study, so if you have just a couple of hundred pages, the best you can do is carefully select a handful of distinct problem types relevant to the practicioner, provide a blueprint solution for each pattern interleaved with enough theory to give the reader sufficient ability to identify the pattern in the wild and apply the blueprint. The choice of tools--Python and the excellent NetworkX--was likewise ideal. Things i didn't like? Graphviz is nowhere mentioned in this book, which is evience of the book's emphasis on computation rather than visualization (though the latter is not ignored, it's just not the focus). I wouldn't mind seeing a second volume from the same two authors directed to the unique challenges associatd with rendering/visualizing very large graphs.

    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Very good introduction for beginners

    By deong

    from Reyjavík, Iceland

    About Me Developer, Educator

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

    • Not comprehensive enough
    • Too basic

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate
    • Novice

    Comments about oreilly Social Network Analysis for Startups:

    The book could better be described as a survey of the field of social network
    analysis for beginners. It is extremely light on theoretical or mathematical
    content. This means that a complete beginner is able to jump in and understand
    what is being described, but also means that the more experienced professional
    looking to build new insights from the book may see it as more of a cookbook
    than a useful introduction to the ideas behind social network analysis. I think
    the book could have benefitted from maybe 30% more material dedicated to
    better grounding of the ideas behind the tools presented. On the plus side, the
    book contains copious examples of running code (in Python) for all of the
    concepts presented. Note that I did not attempt to run the code, so I cannot
    speak to the presence or absence of errors.

    Despite any qualms with the coverage of theoretical underpinnings, the book does
    acheive it's goals quite well. The examples are meaningful, and the explanations
    are clear. The book is very well written in general. The prose is entertaining
    rather than dry, and the ideas are explained clearly.

    Note that I received a gratis review copy as part of the O'Reilly review program, but I have no vested interest in the sale of the book.

    (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    SNA for Startups rocks!

    By Krassimir

    from Harrison, NJ

    About Me Developer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate
      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about oreilly Social Network Analysis for Startups:

      Extremely clean, easy to read, with good examples. Fine work of art!

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