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August 29, 2006

actKM Monthly Meeting - A Network Analysis of the actKM Community of Interest

The next actKM monthly meeting will be held on Tuesday 5 September in the Menzies Room of the National Archives of Australia building (East Block), Parkes from 5.30 until 7pm. As with all actKM monthly meetings, attendance is free and open to all comers. A donation of $5 is sought from those wishing to partake of the drinks and nibbles provided.

Social Network Analysis and Organisational Network Analysis are techniques that are attracting a lot of interest from knowledge practitioners and managers alike. (A cursory examination of the 2006 postings to the actKM list confirms this assertion). Similarly consultants are jumping onto the bandwagon and touting these techniques in the marketplace. The problem is these techniques if employed without an understanding of the underlying assumptions of network theory, as well as some understanding of the mathematical algorithms behind the software, can produce spurious results.

In this presentation Graham Durant-Law will demonstrate the output of USENET, Net Draw and NetMiner, using the 2006 postings to the atom list as the case study, noting the analysis is a network analysis rather than a social network analysis. The presentation will highlight the need to understand the raw data and be careful in interpreting the results.

Graham is a doctoral candidate at the University of Canberra, and in his day job works on the Australian Defence Force's award winning knowledge management system colloquially known as TARDIS. A detailed biography is available at http://www.durantlaw.info/my_biography.htm . Details on his doctorate can be found at http://www.durantlaw.info/my_phd.htm .