[Infovis] software and book announcement NodeXL

Shneiderman, Ben ben at cs.umd.edu
Thu Nov 4 13:53:21 CET 2010

Dear InfoVis Colleagues,

       Below is our announcement of the NodeXL software and new book...
best wishes... Ben Shneiderman

   Our free and open source network analysis and visualization tool,
NodeXL (www.codeplex.com/nodexl), now has an accompanying book to help
students, researchers, and professionals import, analyze, and visualize
social networks.

   "Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL" is now available from
Elsevier/MorganKaufmann Publishers:    
   also available at Amazon.com:

   We've had satisfying success in getting information, computer
science, communications, and business students to do substantive network
analysis and create revealing visualizations, while professionals have
been able to develop actionable business analyses.  

   Of course, there are legitimate concerns about how a tool as powerful
as NodeXL could be used to extract personal information and business
insights that might raise concerns for some people.  So much data is now
public, but the NodeXL interface enables connecting the dots in ways
that were difficult in the past.  Powerful tools have many beneficial
uses, but raise concerns, demanding increased public and professional
understanding of what is possible.  We hope you will help in that
process within the Washington, DC community that are interested in
network analysis.

   We think there are compelling stories around Pierre de Vries'
analysis of FCC filings that indicate surprisingly strong collaborations
between rural communication providers, Peter Aldhous of New Scientist
who used NodeXL to collect and present evidence for unfair reviewing
practices around the hot topic of stem cell research, and our work with
Chris Wilson of Slate to show Senate voting patterns. 

   The NodeXL tool, a plug-in for Excel 2007/2010, which has been
supported by Microsoft External Research for three years is free to
download at www.codeplex.com/nodexl.  Users can also download datasets
used as examples in the book, or use the NodeXL interface to get network
data from email, twitter, facebook, flickr, youtube, and other sources.
The book describes the power of social media, gives a solid introduction
to network analysis, and then leads readers through the steps of using
NodeXL.  The software and book combination is proving to be a real
game-changer - getting instructors to revise their courses and
professionals to make better use of social media.

   Let us know if you have any questions.  We hope you will help us
spread the word about this timely book and the potent NodeXL technology
that lowers the barriers to making significant analytic insights about
social media and networks of all types.

    Sincerely,  Ben, on behalf of
      Derek Hansen  shakmatt at gmail.com 
      Ben Shneiderman ben at cs.umd.edu
      Marc Smith  marc at connectedaction.net

Book Description:
Businesses, entrepreneurs, individuals, and government agencies alike
are looking to social network analysis (SNA) tools for insight into
trends, connections, and fluctuations in social media. Microsoft's
NodeXL is a free, open-source SNA plug-in for use with Excel. It
provides instant graphical representation of relationships of complex
networked data. But it goes further than other SNA tools -- NodeXL was
developed by a multidisciplinary team of experts that bring together
information studies, computer science, sociology, human-computer
interaction, and over 20 years of visual analytic theory and information
visualization into a simple tool anyone can use. This makes NodeXL of
interest not only to end-users but also to researchers and students
studying visual and network analytics and their application in the real

In Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL, members of the NodeXL
development team up provide readers with a thorough and practical guide
for using the tool while also explaining the development behind each
feature. Blending the theoretical with the practical, this book applies
specific SNA instructions directly to NodeXL, but the theory behind the
implementation can be applied to any SNA.
   *Walks readers through using NodeXL while explaining the theory and
development behind each step, providing takeaways that can apply any SNA
   *Demonstrates how visual analytics research can be applied to SNA
tools for the mass market
   *Presents readers with case studies using NodeXL on popular networks
like email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and Wikis

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